To Wear A Mask Or Not Wear a Mask?
With the impending holiday weekend aligning with the lift of COVID-19 restrictions here in the state of Massachusetts, you may be feeling a bit excited and confused as to where you should or shouldn’t be covering your face.
To be clear, the state’s masking order is being lifted for those who are fully vaccinated. Reminder- you’re only considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after your second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after your single dose vaccine.
If you haven’t received your vaccine yet, you should continue to wear a mask while in public and practice social distancing. If you’re interested in getting the vaccine, you can visit the state’s vaxfinder to find a location near you.
While we all may be excited to see everyone sans mask, be mindful that there are still instances where you’ll be required to wear a mask. We break it down for you below:
Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities
As healthcare providers, safety remains our number one priority, so if you’re coming for an appointment at the Hospital or one of our Associates practices, or you’re coming to visit a loved one, you will be required to wear a mask. This helps protect our patients, caregivers and other visitors.
Whether you’re using public transportation or hitching a ride with an Uber or Lyft, you’ll be required to wear a mask- even if you are fully vaccinated.
Schools and Early Education
Universal masking remains in place in the school settings as well, all teachers and students are to continue wearing a mask.
Congregate Care Settings
Much like hospital and healthcare settings, anyone in a group home, residential program, shelter and the like will be required to continue wearing a mask regardless of vaccination status.
It’s also important to note that kids under five no longer need to wear a mask and those who play youth sports outdoors were allowed to play without a mask as of May 19th. Adult sports leagues will be able to follow suit starting May 29th.
While the thought of being able to see some toothy grins this weekend is exciting to many, there is a sense of uncertainty among others. If you’re not comfortable without a mask, keep wearing it! It’s proven to be a widely effective tool in reducing the spread of COVID-19.
And if you are planning to go mask free because you’re fully vaccinated and comfortable with removing the accessory we’ve all been wearing for well over a year, go for it. Just make sure you don’t have anything stuck in your teeth after enjoying some Memorial Day eats.
Stay safe and if you aren’t feeling well, be sure to stay home. While we’ve made some great strides with regards to vaccination and reduction of COVID-19 cases, there is still a risk of spreading and contracting the virus.
If you’re looking for more information related to the upcoming mask changes, the state provides a thorough breakdown of information on its website.