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CDC guidelines create confusion for mask-wearing

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 6:30 PM CDT
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DANE COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV) - The recent shift in Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines about mask-wearing and those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has left some people confused.

On Thursday, the CDC said people who have completed their COVID-19 vaccines can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing.

However, the CDC also says people must obey mask-wearing policies set by businesses or local health leaders.

Public Health Madison and Dane County is expected to update its mask rules on Tuesday. That update might reflect those CDC guidelines, however, there are people in the county that say they are confused which advice to follow and when.

“I don’t think they’ve been extremely clear to the policies,” Millie Jones, a Dane County resident said. “I think those are some examples that are yet to be clearly state so that when one leaves home, one knows what to expect.”

“If I choose to go in here but they choose to require a mask then I should probably wear one, but I don’t know what the rules are about that,” Amanda Doyle-Hendrickson, another Dane County resident said.

Some people like Katherine Stull say when in doubt wear a mask.

“I know it might technically be safe to be indoors unmasked when you’re in public around others if you’re fully vaccinated, but for all people who aren’t, I think it’s just safer,” Stull said.

Jones said it comes down to trust. Not knowing who is vaccinated around you adds to the uncertainty of mask guidelines.

“You don’t know that person’s status, so for me it’s the added peace of mind for me to have the mask and I’ll continue to wear it for a while,” Jones said.

NBC15 News reached out to Wisconsin’s Dept. of Health Services and asked if they could clarify. A spokesperson says the CDC’s recent changes are guidelines and science-based recommendations; however, these policies do not lift local health department mask orders, or trump store policies.

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