Local health officials react to CDC changing mask guidelines

Local News

WACO, Texas – The Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced Tuesday anyone who is vaccinated and is outdoors with friends and family do not have to wear a mask to stay safe.

“Think about making sure all your family and friends are vaccinated, so that you don’t have to worry about possibly exposing someone, so you know that you are all safe and you can get together and celebrate as normal,” says Waco-McLennan County Public Health District Spokesperson Kelly Craine. “That’s the main benefit. That’s the main point.”

With graduations and Memorial Day fast approaching, the timing for the new mask suggestions might never be better.

“We do have a lot of celebrations this time of year, and I think now more than ever, people need to find those connections,” says Baylor Scott & White – Temple’s Dr. Tresa McNeal. “I think [the new guidelines are] very encouraging.”

The CDC, the Public Health District and local doctors want to emphasize that when you are inside with strangers, you should still wear a mask for everyone’s safety.

“I had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated, so I even have to remind myself, ‘No, I still need to wear my mask when I’m going into the grocery store, or out into public, or any kind of gathering.’ It’s important to continue to wear that mask.”

While we are all getting closer to normalcy, they believe there are still plenty of reasons to be vigilant.

“Things are getting better, and we’re going in the right direction,” McNeal said. “But if you’re in a large group, even outdoors at an event, it’s still is recommended that you wear a mask.”

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