When and where to mask up
While some people in the Rio Grande Valley are feeling relief after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it’s no longer necessary to wear a face mask if you’re fully vaccinated, some places - such as airports - are still requiring the public to mask up.
But even though we are still in a pandemic - and we are making strides to end it - why did the CDC make this decision?
"When you're fully vaccinated, you're actually protected from contracting COVID yourself and you're protecting the community as well,” Dr. Luis Ostrosky, an infectious disease specialist at UT Health Houston said. “You cannot transmit it, at least not efficiently."
Data shows more than 60% of adult Americans already have at least one shot, and COVID-related deaths and hospitalizations have been declining nationwide.
The CDC still recommends that you use a face mask on public transit, or at businesses or in the workplace if they require you to.
If you've been vaccinated, the CDC says you can still be in small or large gatherings - indoors or outdoors - without wearing a mask.
"If you're not vaccinated, continue wearing the mask, continue the social distancing," Dr. Ostrosky said.