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Fully vaccinated people can go outdoors without mask except in large crowds, CDC says

This new guidance comes as the NCAA kicks off its men's and women's soccer tournaments in the Triad and across the state.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fully vaccinated people can now take off their masks while exercising outdoors, attending small outdoor gatherings with a mixture of people who are vaccinated and unvaccinated and dining at outdoor restaurants with friends from multiple households.

Almost half of North Carolina adults have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine with 38% of the population fully vaccinated.

This new guidance comes as the NCAA kicks off its men's and women's soccer tournaments in the Triad and across the state. Matches are being held at Bryan Park and on the campus of UNC Greensboro.

Even though fans must still wear masks in the stands, folks who came to watch the matches said the updated CDC mask mandate is a sign of some return to normalcy.

RELATED: CDC says many Americans can now go outside without a mask

A group of soccer moms traveling with their bubble of soccer parents from Connecticut cheered the news.

"We are excited to be able to be outside and mask-free. As long as we are socially distant, we will obviously abide by all the rules at game time, in the stands and we are officially vaccinated," Carol Bartis said. Bartis' daughter plays for Central Connecticut State University.

"We are fortunate that we are an outdoor sport and we're safe so we're definitely grateful to be playing," Chris Rich, Head Coach, UNCG said.

"Certainly getting back to normalcy will be fantastic for our group and just everybody in general," Rich said about the new mask guidelines.

Previously the CDC advised people to wear masks outdoors if they are within 6 feet of each other.

The change comes as more than half of U.S. adults have gotten at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine and more than a third of people are fully vaccinated.

Masks will still have to be worn when fully vaccinated people are going to outdoor spaces with big crowds like concerts, parades, or sporting events.