Thursday, 13 May 2021, the CDC announced that fully vaccinated Americans can discard masks and the need for social distancing outdoors and in most indoor settings.
The new guidelines announced by Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, represent a major step toward a return to normalcy for a nation battered and at times divided by a pandemic that has lasted more than a year.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” Walensky said. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”
A person is considered fully vaccinated against the coronavirus two weeks after getting the second Pfizer or Moderna shot or the same length of time after receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The new guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings such as buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters but could ease restrictions for reopening workplaces and schools. In addition, the agency will no longer recommend that fully vaccinated people wear masks outdoors in crowds, possibly allowing for bigger capacities at sporting events.
In light of the above statement by the CDC, we will be making the following adjustments to our mask protocol at Church on the Heights:
Upon entering the church building we ask that you wear a mask until you arrive at your seat. Once at your seat, you are free to remove your mask if you wish to do so. At the same time, we do ask that you remain sensitive to those near you who may not feel as comfortable not wearing a mask. At the end of service please place your mask back on until you leave the building. We certainly thank you for and appreciate your co-operation and understanding during these still-challenging times.