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Mask Mandates Are Expiring – But Should You Still Wear One?

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At this point in the Covid pandemic, more and more states are easing up on their masking policies. 

There are also fewer and fewer local cities, towns, etc. where masks are still required. 

But here’s a big question:

Does this mean that you shouldn’t continue to wear a mask?

This is just one of a number of questions that are growing murky as the Covid pandemic drags on. 

And in a recent CNN report, some experts weighed in on exactly what they thought. 

Let’s unpack it. 

Mask Mandates Are Expiring

At this point in the pandemic, some public health experts believe that the time has come to remove mask mandates—especially in communities where vaccinations are hitting higher levels. 

For example, here’s a quote from Dr. Carlos del Rio, executive associate dean of the Emory University School of Medicine:

“As the cases are decreasing right now with Omicron, you know, in a couple of weeks, maybe removing masks is actually the right thing to do…”

CDC Guidelines Haven’t Changed

Some people aren’t so sure about removing masks. And part of this could be due to the fact that the CDC still hasn’t changed its official guidelines. 

While these are not ‘mandated’ guidelines, they’re still considered the best rules to follow if we want to continue to reduce the risk of further spreading of the virus any more than is absolutely necessary. 

Here are two quotes from the CNN article about the CDC’s position on mask-wearing:

“The agency still advises anyone 2 and older to wear a mask when indoors in public if they are not up to date with their Covid-19 vaccines.”

And…

“In schools, the CDC still recommends that everyone wear masks, regardless of vaccination status. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has said it’s not yet the right time to lift the mandates, though she acknowledged Wednesday that her agency is starting to consider updating its guidance.”

What Does This Mean For You?

There’s a lot of science that shows us that masks do help to minimize the spread of the disease, especially when they’re worn correctly. 

Here’s another quote from the CNN article about the science behind masks, spoken by Dr. Erica Johnson, chair of the infectious disease board of the American Board of Internal Medicine

“Masks were one of our earliest effective tools, and I think it will continue to be an absolutely important tool, particularly when rates are high within a community…”

Of course, since many mask mandates are disappearing and expiring, it’ll be up to all of us as individuals to try to decide whether or not masks should continue to be an important part of our routine. 

Do they help enough? Is it time to leave them behind? Should they become the ‘new normal’ for a while longer?

These are all questions that more and more people are going to get to answer for themselves as we move forward into the upcoming spring and summer months.

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