Genesee County, MI— The Genesee County Health Department recently released an update on wearing masks for vaccinated and unvaccinated residents, saying they will be following the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed their recommendations.

On May 13, the CDC said that those who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear a mask and can safely resume activities as they did prior to the pandemic. 

The next day, Governor Gretchen Whitmer lifted the statewide mask mandate under the CDC’s latest guidance on face coverings.

“Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance,” the CDC’s website states.

According to the CDC, individuals are considered fully vaccinated:

  • Two weeks following their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine 
  • Two weeks following a single dose the Johnson & Johnson vaccine 

However, there are some situations in which mask wearing is still recommended for everyone. Here’s a short guide. 

What Can Fully Vaccinated People Do?

Those who are fully vaccinated can do the following activities:

  • Travel in the United States without testing before or after travel or self-quarantining
  • If exposed to someone with COVID-19, vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine or get tested unless they show symptoms
  • Vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask indoors or socially distance at gatherings with other fully vaccinated people

Where Do Fully Vaccinated People Need to Wear a Mask?

In some instances, everyone must still wear a mask. This includes: 

  • Workplace settings
  • Mass transit 
  • K-12 school settings 
  • Healthcare settings 
  • Correctional facilities 
  • Homeless shelters 

What Can Unvaccinated People Do?

Those who are not fully vaccinated can: 

  • Walk, bike, or run alone or with members of their household without wearing a mask 
  • Attend small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated individuals without wearing a mask 
  • Attend small outdoor gatherings with unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals but must wear a mask

According to the CDC, the new guidance is based on evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are “effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death.” They also reduce the risk of people spreading the virus. 

The Genesee County Department is urging residents to get vaccinated. 

“If you have not received a COVID-19 vaccination, please get vaccinated. Vaccination protects you; more vaccinations protect everyone,” a GCHD news release said.

A list of vaccine clinics can be found here

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...