Some Vermonters say they’ll keep masks despite new CDC guidance

Local News

Some people in downtown Burlington were pleased to know that the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention on Thursday announced new mask guidance, but for the moment they won’t change their behavior much — if at all.

CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said fully vaccinated people can “start doing the things you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”

We have all longed for this moment, when we can all get back to some sense of normalcy,” she said.

The relaxed guidelines will allow most activities, indoors or out, without masking up or physical distancing.

Charlotte resident Annick Murat is happy about the efficacy of the available vaccines, but she’s apprehensive about completely abandoning masks.

“I’ve seen a few places like Florida go, ‘we don’t need masks!’, and it’s gone very badly,” she said.

Murat is comfortable with outdoor dining, especially with friends. However, she’s simply not ready to go into a small, somewhat crowded space without a face covering.

“I think that when I go into a public place — a bookstore, a clothing store, something like that — I’m still going to wear my mask,” she added.

Elijah Stokes of Morrisville also plans to continue masking up. He knows some locations will still require it, one of which he’d visited earlier on Thursday.

“It was an art gallery, and they asked that we all wear masks, even though I’m double-vaccinated,” he said. “I have read that you can still spread COVID through contact with not properly washed hands and things like that.”

For the moment, Vermont still requires a mask if you’re in the presence of anyone outside your own household. That requirement is due to be downgraded to a recommendation on July 4.

“The more we can listen to our scientific community and take the cues that they’re giving us, then we’re going to be able to move forward into a much happier, healthier summer,” Stokes said.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott tweeted that he’ll outline at his Friday news conference exactly how the CDC guidance will play out in the Green Mountain State. But, he noted, “Vermont will follow suit.”

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