Massachusetts to update reopening plans next week following new CDC guidelines

Coronavirus Local Impact

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The CDC has updated their mask recommendations for fully vaccinated people but how will this impact the mask guidance here in Massachusetts?

Governor Baker posted on Twitter Friday morning saying they will be updating the reopening guidelines next week in response to the CDC update.

This new CDC guidance says fully vaccinated people are safe to stop wearing masks and social distancing in most places, but that’s just a recommendation. However, for now the state’s mask order is still in place for all indoor places and when six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained. When outside, where you’re allowed to ditch the mask if socially distanced, now the scene is changing, more people are walking around mask less.

Some local residents told us they’re ready to take the masks off but cautiously.

“I’m done with this yeah. We can throw these right in the trash,” expressed western Massachusetts resident, Jake Hogan, after saying he thought the CDC’s latest update was “great.”

“It’s not really something that I want to wear for the rest of my life but if it protects everybody, I’m fine with that. It’s not much of a hardship to wear a mask to protect everybody,” said Erin St. Onge of West Springfield.

She told 22News the possibility of different COVID-19 strains coming to the U.S. may impact mask wearing again. “Obviously they’ll kind of keep tabs on it if it starts to rise again. Then they’ll have to figure that out and go back to the masks. But people using their prerogative, that works really good. If they’re vaccinated and they feel comfortable then absolutely,” St. Onge continued.

It’s important to note the CDC still recommends that fully vaccinated people wear masks in crowded indoor settings, public transportation, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters. The CDC says unvaccinated people should still be wearing masks indoors at all times and immunocompromised people should discuss mask wearing with their physicians before stopping.

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