CDC Announces Updated Mask Recommendations

July 28, 2021
Inside HR
HR Compliance
Health & Wellness
Safety & OSHA
Read time: 3 mins

In light of the recent uptick of positive COVID-19 cases, the CDC has issued an update to the current mask-wearing guidance. The new recommendations are in place as of July 27, 2021.

Guidelines for unvaccinated individuals

  • Unvaccinated individuals aged 2 and older should continue to wear masks in indoor public places.
  • Masks are generally not required in outdoor areas, except where there are a high number of COVID-19 cases or when involved in activities where there will be close contact with others.
  • Face coverings should be worn over the nose and mouth and should have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric that fits snugly against the sides of your face.
  • Domestic travel requirements include COVID-19 testing prior to and after your trip.
  • If you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, quarantine and test 3 to 5 days following exposure. Remain in quarantine for 7 days following a negative test result (obtained on day 5 or later).
  • If you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 and do not get tested, quarantine for 10 days if you have no symptoms. If you have symptoms, quarantine for 14 days following the last exposure.

Guidelines for vaccinated individuals

  • Fully vaccinated individuals can continue to participate in many of same activities as they did pre-pandemic.
  • It is recommended that masks be worn in areas of substantial or high transmission to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading the virus to others.
  • Fully vaccinated individuals with weakened immune systems or underlying health conditions, or people who live with someone with a weakened immune system, should wear a mask, regardless of transmission levels in your community.
  • There is no requirement to be tested for COVID-19 before or after domestic travel.
  • Check international requirements for travel outside the United States. Some areas require a negative test result, even for vaccinated travelers.
  • If you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, you should get tested 3 to 5 days following exposure, and wear a mask while in indoor public areas for 14 days following exposure or until test results are negative. If test results are positive, isolate for 10 days.

COVID-19 vaccinations are still the safest and most effective way to prevent against serious illness or death related to the virus and any variants. While it is still possible for vaccinated individuals to become infected, that rate of serious illness drops to 5 to 6 percent.

Regardless of vaccination status, some counties, cities, and places of business have reinstated mask requirements. Watch for local mask requirements in your area.

MRA will continue to provide updates on mask mandates as they are released. Visit our dedicated COVID webpage for information and resources reflecting this most recent change. We encourage you to contact MRA’s 24/7 Hotline with any questions you have. Call 866-HR-Hotline 866.474.6854 or email [email protected].