By Lita Martinez/LAist

Originally published Apr 27, 2021  

The federal government has relaxed its guidelines for when fully vaccinated people should wear masks in public.

Essentially, anyone who is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely attend small outdoor gatherings without needing to wear a mask; California is following suit, as is L.A. County. Even going out to an event with a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people is OK under the new guidance, as long as it doesn’t get too crowded.

California’s Department of Public Health issued a statement this afternoon saying that the state will update its own masking guidance to reflect those recommendations from the CDC.

Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist with UC San Francisco Medical Center, says the guidelines still recommend wearing a mask while indoors, because of the heightened risk for infection:

“Indoor gatherings are 19 times more likely to spread COVID than outdoors, and, in fact, only 10% of outbreaks happen in the outdoor setting, as opposed to 90% indoors. And pretty much the bottom line is if you can control your environment, you have a very very low chance of becoming infected.”

— Dr. Peter Ching-Hong

This report is reprinted with permission from Southern California Public Radio. © 2021 Southern California Public Radio. All rights reserved.

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