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Officials’ conflicting versions of CDC mask announcement create confusion – Deadline

“In businesses, whether indoors or outdoors, masks should always be worn,” Los Angeles Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said Thursday afternoon. Minutes earlier, President Joe Biden had delivered a different message.

“I want to be clear on what the CDC is saying and what the CDC is not saying,” Biden said during a speech marking the announcement. “The CDC says they have concluded that fully vaccinated people are at a very, very low risk of contracting Covid-19. Therefore, if you have been fully immunized, you no longer need to wear a mask. Let me repeat: if you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask. “

Biden pointed out, “This recommendation is true whether you are indoors or outdoors.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom says there will be no outer mask warrant after June 15 in California – Update

But the CDC covered its announcement hours earlier.

The CDC tweeted: “If you are fully vaccinated against # COVID19, you can resume your activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet away, except when required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, incl . advice for local businesses and the workplace. “

Upon closer inspection, the new direction CDC does not completely remove mask recommendations, even for fully vaccinated people. Face masks are still recommended in certain settings – such as on planes and buses or in crowded environments such as hospitals.

Members of the media began to point out the contradiction.

National Religion News Service reporter Jack Jenkins retweeted the video of Biden’s speech with the following analysis: “According to the CDC, Biden’s statement here is not 100% correct – there are still cases where the agency always recommends wearing masks even if they are vaccinated (for example on public transport, at airports, in nursing homes, etc.). “

Jenkins was right, and the divergence sent ripples across the country.

Earlier in the week, California Governor Gavin Newsom was adamant in his assurance that masks were gone for fully vaccinated residents.

On Tuesday, a reporter asked Newsom if there would be a mask warrant after June 15. The generally talkative Newsom quickly responded, “No”. He then listed a few rare circumstances where masks would still be needed.

“Only in these massively large [indoor] places where people from all over the world come together and where people mingle in true dense spaces. Otherwise… no warrant, ”he said.

On Wednesday, the governor appeared to remove the “massively big” from his indoor ban, telling reporters: “For indoor activities, we’ll likely still have mask warrants. But the hope is that these will be lifted as soon as possible. “

On Thursday in Los Angeles, Ferrer was repeatedly questioned during a call with reporters whether CDC guidelines ended all mask requirements for fully vaccinated people.

“I think there is a lot more to be said in the documents that have been released today,” she said. “We will discuss this under advisement. This document was not previously distributed to local health services. ”

Ferrer noted that local health officials may be more stringent than state and federal guidelines. She also said the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Division, CalOSHA, won’t even meet until next week to consider changes.

“Once the [unintelligible] the board is meeting next week, we will know more. We will align with CalOSHA, ”said Ferrer. One suggestion, she said, was not to have everyone wear masks, but only those who are not vaccinated.

“It may be easier to ask that person to mask themselves and keep their distance than to ask everyone to mask themselves and to keep their distance,” Ferrer said.

Until the new rules are published, the Los Angeles director of public health recalled: “In businesses, whether indoors or outdoors, masks should always be worn … an unintended consequence. Until this change, all workplaces would be non-compliant and subject to fines. “

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