family wearing masks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently adjusted masking guidelines for fully vaccinated people, but the change has left many with more questions than answers.

“There is some confusion about the changes,” says Cynthia Romero, MD, Director of the EVMS M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health, “but I think it’s also reflective of anxiety and the excitement that people do want to get back to that same sense of normalcy.”

The new guidance suggests it’s no longer necessary for fully vaccinated people to wear masks or remain socially distant whether inside or out. Dr. Romero says the changes, which are based on research, make sense, but adds that everyone will have to do their part.

“One of the challenges of having this environment of people not having masks is there is really no ongoing way to verify at any one given moment if anyone has really been vaccinated or not,” Dr. Romero says. “And certainly, we are basing it on the honor system.”

She adds that more changes may be ahead as the U.S. has not gotten to herd immunity status which is getting closer to the about 85% of the general population vaccinated. “We will have to wait and see how the numbers continue to move one way or the other.”

In the meantime, she recommends all businesses post their policies clearly on storefronts so customers know what to expect when they go inside.