Biden expected to announce new CDC mask guidance Tuesday

Katie Ramirez
April 27, 2021

In guidance posted on Saturday, the CDC notes that vaccines are not yet authorized for children of all ages, so prevention measures such as mask-wearing and physical distancing must continue, even after camp employees are vaccinated. It also encourages that overnight staff, volunteers and campers who are eligible as well as family members get fully vaccinated at least two weeks before camp begins.

The CDC now recommends that fully vaccinated people still wear a mask and maintain 6 feet of distance when in public or gathering with people from more than one other household who have not received the vaccine, and when visiting with an unvaccinated person who is considered high risk of severe illness or who lives with a person at such risk. With few exceptions, "all people in camp facilities should wear masks at all times", it says.

Campers outside of a cohort should always maintain at least six feet of distance, the CDC guidance said, and that same distance should be maintained between campers and staff.

The CDC has been cautiously expanding its list of activities that it says are low-risk for fully inoculated people, which now includes domestic travel.

Camp policies must promote physical distancing indoors and outdoors in line with the current recommendations for K-12 schools, the guidance adds.

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The guidance discourages close-contact and indoor sports, noting the increased risk of spreading COVID-19 in those situations.

On Sunday, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said on CBS' Face the Nation that "we should be thinking about lifting mask ordinances outside", adding that a relaxing of restrictions that "don't make as much sense anymore" should be looked at.

Coronavirus is almost 19 more likely to spread indoors compared to outside, and fewer than 10 percent of Covid infections had been contracted indoors as of a November Journal of Infectious Diseases study.

A variety of other specific camp activities should be adjusted or avoided altogether, said the CDC. Upon their return home, campers and staff who are not fully vaccinated should get a viral test after three to five days and self-quarantine for one week.

The updated guidance also emphasizes that camp activities should take place outside as much as possible.

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