- CDC guidance for wearing masks outdoors should be updated “soon,” Dr Antony Fauci said on Sunday.
- Evidence shows that “outdoor risk is really, really quite low,” Fauci told ABC News’ This Week.
- Laxer guidance would be “common sense,” Fauci said.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) should be updating guidance for mask wearing in outdoor spaces “soon,” Dr. Antony Fauci told ABC News’ This Week on Sunday.
Answering questions from George Stephanopoulos, Fauci, the White House chief medical advisor, said the move is “common sense,” as the evidence shows that “outdoor risk is really, really quite low.”
For vaccinated people wearing masks outdoors, “the risk is minuscule,” he said.
“I believe what the country is going to be hearing soon is updated guidelines from the CDC,” Fauci told ABC News. “The data backs it up,” he said.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the head of the CDC, had told NBC News’ TODAY show on Thursday that the agency is “looking at the outdoor masking question.”
The current CDC guidance says that anyone older than two should wear a mask in “public settings and when around people who don’t live in their household.”
It already says that masks aren’t needed “when you are outside by yourself away from others,” but continues to recommend masks in more public settings.
The risk of transmitting the virus outdoors is much lower than in indoor spaces, experts told Insider’s Hilary Brueck for a recent report.
That is because the air circulating around outdoors sweeps the virus away.
However, the risk is not zero, so wearing a mask when in a crowded space, even outdoors, can be a good idea.
As of April 16, 26 states requires individuals to wear masks indoor and outdoors statewide, according to ballotpedia.
North Carolina, however, has said that outdoor mask mandates could be lifted by June. Connecticut aims to lift its outdoor mask mandate by May 1, NBC News reported.
Massachusetts announced that changes to its mask mandates could be coming in the next weeks. New Hampshire is set to let its mask mandate expire on May 7.
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