In its published report, the Times found that 80 percent of respondents believed that Americans would have to wear masks in indoor spaces for another year at least. Only 5 percent thought Americans should be mask-free this summer.
This is in stark contrast to the newly issued guidance of the CDC, reported yesterday, that fully vaccinated people can now go maskless both indoors and outside, even amongst non-vaccinated people, subject to a few exceptions.
“Unless the vaccination rates increase to 80 or 90 percent over the next few months, we should wear masks in large public indoor settings,” said Vivian Towe, a program officer at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, in the article.
Most respondents said mask-wearing continued to be necessary for now, because the number of vaccinated Americans had not yet reached a level that scientists consider necessary to significantly slow the spread of the virus. Until then, there are too many chances for vaccines, which are not 100 percent effective, to fail, they said, according to the report.
A significant number of states have already lifted mask mandates with no apparently uptick in COVID cases. A number of other states announced that they would need further study before removing such requirements.
In Illinois, Governor Pritzker announced the commencement of the “Bridge Phase” of COVID mitigation yesterday, which allows for greater capacity in businesses and other public establishments. He further indicated that full re-opening could be achieved by June 11th as long as metrics related to hospitalization and new cases did not deteriorate.