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CDC Says Vaccinated People Needn't Wear Masks in Most Places

The CDC says it's basing its decision on evidence that vaccines work in real-world settings and protect against virus variants and transmission.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that people vaccinated against COVID-19 don’t have to wear a mask or socially distance in most places.

The changes are being made based on growing body of
evidence that vaccines work in real-world settings and protect against virus variants, as well as that vaccinated people have a low likelihood of transmitting the virus,

Vaccinated individuals must still cover their faces and physically distance when going to doctors, hospitals or long-term care facilities like nursing homes; when traveling by bus, plane, train or other modes of public transportation, or while in transportation hubs like airports and bus stations; and when in prisons, jails or homeless shelters.

Also, vaccinated people must continue to abide by existing state, local, or tribal laws and regulations, and follow local rules for businesses and workplaces.

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A person is considered vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as with the Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Report or Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Report vaccines; or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s  (JNJ) - Get Report Janssen vaccine.

As of Wednesday, about 154 million Americans have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, the CDC said. 

Providers are administering about 2.16 million doses per day on average, down about 36% from the peak of 3.38 million reported in mid-April, the New York Times reported.

Masks became a controversial issue during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak. Former President Donald Trump, who, along with former First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19 last year, spent months playing down the effectiveness of masks. 

On Wednesday, MGM Resorts  (MGM) - Get Report said Nevada officials approved 100% occupancy with no social-distancing requirements on the gambling floors in its nine Las Vegas properties.

Last week, Pfizer and its partner, BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get Report said they had submitted a biologics license application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to gain full clearance for their COVID-19 vaccine.

Nearly 584,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.