The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has relaxed its COVID-19 guidelines for individuals who have been fully vaccinated.
Under the new guidelines, the CDC no longer recommends that fully vaccinated individuals wear a mask outdoors, “except in certain crowded settings and venues.”
The CDC also stated that fully vaccinated individuals without a COVID exposure can be exempted from routine testing “if feasible.” The new guidelines also clarify that fully vaccinated individuals do not have to be restricted from working after an exposure if they are asymptomatic.
In addition, full vaccinated individuals who reside in congregate settings do not have to quarantine following a known exposure, according to the CDC.
The CDC defines a fully vaccinated individual as one who has received the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna shot or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and two weeks has passed since the vaccine’s administration.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson noted that the new CDC guidelines will have little effect in Arkansas. Hutchinson lifted the statewide mask mandate on Tuesday, March 30. “We’ve done away with our mask mandate in Arkansas, which applies outdoor for over a month now,” he said.
However, Hutchinson noted that cities can establish their own mask mandates and that private businesses can impose a mask requirement.
In terms of the state, Hutchinson said,” “We’re on a different page than the CDC in terms of our requirements in reference to masks, which have been lifted in the state.”