BOSTON (CBS) – The CDC is expected to relax the guidance on outdoor masks as early as Tuesday.

The risk of contracting the coronavirus is much lower outdoors than it is indoors, especially if you’re vaccinated. So it seems reasonable for the CDC to come out and say that you no longer need to wear a mask if you’re outside, by yourself or with your family or with other vaccinated individuals, away from others.

That said, if you’re in a crowded area, even if it’s outdoors, you should continue to wear a mask. And for the foreseeable future, you should also continue to wear a mask in indoor public spaces. But let’s see what changes the CDC issues this week.


According to a new CBS News poll, 6 in 10 Americans say they will get vaccinated or say they have had at least one dose. Eighteen-percent say they may get vaccinated which is four points lower than last month but 22-percent say they absolutely will not get a vaccine.

So why is there still a sizeable portion of the population that does not plan to get vaccinated?

Researchers said more than half of those polled say that the vaccine is too new, and they will wait and see, according to Dr. Mallika Marshall.

Let me remind you that almost 100 million people have been fully vaccinated in the U.S. with very few complications.

Another common concern is vaccine side effects. Any potential side effects like arm pain and fatigue only last for a couple of days and really should not be a reason to turn down vaccination. As you know, the effects of COVID-19 can be much, much worse.

And people are also worried about blood clots. And yes, an unusual clotting disorder has been associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but it is exceptionally rare, has been seen almost exclusively in women under 50, and has not been seen with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines so if you’re concerned, you can opt to get one of those instead.

We really need to get as many people vaccinated as possible so that we can stop the variants in their tracks and so that we can all return to doing all the things we want to do without fear of COVID-19.

Dr. Mallika Marshall is offering her best advice, but as always, consult your personal doctor before making any decisions about your personal health.

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