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Mid-Southerners react to CDC’s new face mask recommendations

Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 6:00 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Doctors now say people who have been fully vaccinated no longer need to mask up in most situations.

Around this time last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first recommended wearing a mask. Now, the CDC says it’s time for a change.

It’s now official. The CDC says if you’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19, you can ditch your mask for many outdoor and indoor activities.

“I think what this really says to me is people who haven’t gotten vaccinated yet, boy it’s really a good time to get vaccinated,” Memphis City Councilman Dr. Jeff Warren.

Warren says he’s ecstatic about the news, yet it’s another incentive he says for people to get their shot.

From getting a hair cut to going to a parade or heading back inside to the theater are all approved activities for those who are vaccinated. But many fully vaccinated people say they have no plans to go maskless.

“Not at all. Not at all. I mean, I still think it’s a pressing issue. Coronavirus is still out there. I still don’t feel safe,” said Amanda Byrd.

“I do if the mandates lift fully. I’m not here to make anyone upset or uncomfortable. If everyone wants to keep them on for a little while longer to wait for everybody to get double vaccinated, personally I feel very safe taking it off,” said Peyton Bosley.

An issue when in a public place is you don’t know everyone’s vaccination status.

”Yeah, because we know that we’re safe, but it’s contingent upon those around us,” said Lee Hill.

According to the CDC, more than 35 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, which is far from the targeted 70 plus percent.

Warren says he’s still concerned about COVID-19 variants causing yet another wave of cases, so don’t throw away your masks just yet.

“I wouldn’t throw them away yet, but when you’re around friends and family and you all have been vaccinated, I think you can breathe a sigh of relief and give somebody a hug,” Warren said.

The CDC says even fully vaccinated people may still be asked to wear masks in hospitals, other healthcare settings, and in public transportation.

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