What’s the impact of CDC’s no-masks guidance on kids?

Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 2:16 PM AKDT
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(CNN) – For those fully vaccinated, the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines mean mask freedom.

But some people are concerned about the impact the new guidance will have on the youngest Americans.

“Personally, myself, I feel comfortable, but I understand that some people might not feel comfortable,” said New Yorker David Harris.

The CDC’s new mask guidance has resulted in a general relaxation of mask mandates by businesses and governments across the country.

“I am concerned about the impact of this on our children and those who just cannot be vaccinated yet,” said Dr. Leana Wen, a former Baltimore health commissioner.

Also, there’s no way to tell whether an unmasked person is fully vaccinated.

“The science is the science, but we have to factor in human behavior,” according to Dr. Chris T. Pernell, a public health physician.

Kids under 12, who aren’t eligible to receive the vaccine yet, are a major concern for health experts.

“Am I going to be bringing my kids now into a Starbucks? Probably not because I don’t want them, who are unvaccinated, to be surrounded by a bunch of unvaccinated, unmasked people who are breathing on them,” Wen said.

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With more adults getting vaccinated, the CDC says children and teens are starting to make up a greater proportion of new COVID-19 cases.

About 40% of Americans are fully vaccinated.

Some are urging parents to keep their children masked in public.

“It’s just the best guidance and advice to people, not knowing who in the room is protected and who is not,” Pernell said.

The CDC advises schools to continue masking for the rest of this school year.

The agency plans to update its guidance for summer camp soon.

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