Health Officials Weigh in on Changes to Mask Requirements

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 7:22 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - The state of Maine has updated its guidance for outdoor masking to reflect new recommendations from the U.S. CDC if you are fully vaccinated.

According to the US CDC, the risk for transmitting COVID-19 while outdoors is low. For fully vaccinated individuals, masks do not need to be worn in situations like small outdoor gatherings with people that have also been fully vaccinated, or when dining outdoors with friends or people from other households.

The CDC says masks are still recommended for vaccinated and unvaccinated people in crowded areas, or places where social distancing is not possible. Health officials say this is a step towards normalcy.

“The more we vaccinate Maine people, the more ability we have to begin to alter the public health protocols because the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is lower,” Jeanne Lambrew, Maine DHHS Commissioner said. “So, the sooner you get your shot, the sooner we can begin to move towards those sort of activities and engagements that we all loved before COVID-19.”

“The ability for us to take this work that we’ve done with vaccines and move forward into these activities that we had as a normal piece of life prior to COVID,” Jessica St. Peter, Director of Quality at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital said. “This really helps us to move forward in those old activities and enjoying them without masking if we’re vaccinated.”

Guidance for mask wearing has not changed for indoor gatherings.

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