Yes, the CDC is continuing to loosen up on their restrictions, and mask wear is now not required nor suggested in many settings. However, with that, mask wear is still mandated by the CDC in public transportation settings and healthcare settings, among others, for public safety reasons.
To be very specific, the CDC Update includes “that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance . . . [and] that fully vaccinated people can refrain from testing following a known exposure unless they are residents or employees of a correctional or detention facility or a homeless shelter.”
The CDC guidelines for healthcare settings have not changed since April 27, 2021. Their guidelines include that “facilities might need to limit the total number of visitors in the facility at one time in order to maintain recommended infection control precautions. Facilities might also need to limit the number of visitors per patient/resident at one time to maintain any required physical distancing.” Further, “the safest approach is for everyone to maintain physical distancing and to wear source control [masks]. However, if the patient/resident is fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) with their unvaccinated visitor(s) while both continue to wear well-fitting source control.”
We understand that politics has totally undermined our confidence in the CDC. We also understand that many in the country feel their individual freedom has been infringed upon with mask wear. We do understand this.
With that, there has to be a national voice that guides all medical associations and licensing boards. At this time, that national voice is the CDC, from which all healthcare entities create their protocols and procedures. We are obligated to follow these recommendations. Since this is a pandemic, and is a public health issue, we must and should think of others. At times, we all need to compromise on our freedoms and convictions in order to protect others. Some patients cannot wear a mask nor can they be vaccinated, for various reasons. As a result, they must be considered, for public health reasons. We value every patient; every. single. one.
Until the CDC changes their guidelines for healthcare settings, we must continue following their guidelines, as is medically consistent across the entire country and across the state of Texas. We value your understanding and appropriate response. If you take issue with this, please contact Dr. Venincasa.
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Thank you again for your kind interest.