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Cone Health doctor breaks down what new CDC guidelines mean for masks in outdoor spaces

Dr. Cynthia Snider says with this updated guidance, more people may be inclined to get their COVID-19 shot.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased the outdoor mask guidance for vaccinated Americans on Tuesday. 

The CDC announced that fully vaccinated people no longer need masks while exercising outdoors, while attending small outdoor gatherings with a mixture of people who are vaccinated and unvaccinated, and while dining at outdoor restaurants with friends from multiple households. 

Dr. Cynthia Snider with Cone Health says she sees this latest guidance as more relief and peace of mind for those who are fully vaccinated.  

"We know outdoors does not carry nearly the same risks as being indoors," she said. 

Although in many cases, masks are still recommended indoors - especially around large groups - Snider hopes that by easing up, more people will be inclined to get their shot. All this - getting us closer to herd immunity. 

However, if we don't reach herd immunity, Dr. Snider doubts we'll see any more updated guidance from the CDC about masks. 

"Without getting the majority of people vaccinated, I think that is it for now," she said, "I don't know if we will get to herd immunity at the rate that we are going. It is very slow. So, for the time being, masks in grocery stores, in classrooms, and at work will definitely be required."

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