As more Americans are getting vaccinated, and COVID-19 cases are dropping across the US, where and when face masks are mandated is changing. Despite the announcement earlier this month by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks outdoors. In many cases indoors, state and local governments have jurisdiction, and orders vary across the country.
In the latest news, Hawaii has updated its mask mandate, allowing people to go mask-less outdoors regardless of their vaccination status. The updated order comes in light of the fact that more than half of the Hawaiian population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. A little less than half of Hawaiians are fully vaccinated.
Though masks are no longer required outdoors, they are still required indoors for everyone, vaccinated or otherwise, Governor David Ige announced this week, continuing to encourage mask-wearing among large groups. “The virus is still circulating in our community and unvaccinated people are particularly at risk,” he said at a news conference. “And until more people are vaccinated, we must continue to take precautions indoors and in large because those actions are important to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Governor Ige also announced that surf contests and other water sports competitions will resume as of June 1, 2021. Though the pandemic is still far from over, every bit of promising news is a welcome reminder that life in the US is slowly getting back to normal, even if it is a new normal.