Goodbye masks, hello freedom! (for some)

Senior+Zach+McDonald+is+hopeful+to+ditch+the+mask+in+school+soon%2C+as+the+PA+laws+are+changing+and+COVID-19+cases+continue+to+drop.

Photo provided by Zach McDonald

Senior Zach McDonald is hopeful to ditch the mask in school soon, as the PA laws are changing and COVID-19 cases continue to drop.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday, May 13th, that it’s recommendation is that individuals who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 no longer have to wear masks or socially distance, whether indoors or outdoors in most circumstances. President Joe Biden called the move a “great milestone” during remarks Thursday at the White House, adding that it had been “made possible by the extraordinary success we’ve had in vaccinating such a large amount of Americans so quickly.”

Over 35 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, in step with the CDC. “If you’re fully vaccinated, you are good to go. That’s huge.” Outside experts in communicable disease overwhelmingly hailed the move. Michael Osterholm, director of the center for infectious disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota said, “It’s exactly what we must be doing without delay. I believe it follows the simplest science.” A person is considered fully vaccinated if they have received all of the doses for their preferred vaccine and 14 days have passed.

Dr. Amesh Adalja, a communicable disease physician with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said the move is “long overdue.” “Our goal was to tame this virus, to defang and to remove its ability to threaten hospitals,” Adalja stated. “I think we’ve accomplished that in the United States.”

The recommendations come not quite a year after the CDC first recommended that Americans should wear masks to guard against spreading or catching the coronavirus. At that point, the U.S. was logging roughly 1,000 Covid-19 deaths on a daily basis.

The CDC’s updated guidance is a welcome step toward moving to life beyond the pandemic, however, businesses and school entities may still require masks. As for Boyertown Area School District, according to Superintendent Marybeth Torchia,  all Boyertown Area School District staff, students, and  community members attending District run events will continue to adhere to masking protocols until further notice.   

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