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Area health officials react to new CDC guidelines

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(WAOW) -- As the warm weather months approach, new CDC guidelines mean Wisconsinites who are fully vaccinated can finally breathe a little easier.

"Particularly outdoors, small gatherings of fully vaccinated people can be unmasked," said Susan Schneider, assistant senior physician executive of primary care at Aspirus.

Vaccinated people can also exercise outside with members of the household, or eat at outdoor restaurants, all without a mask.

It's a promising start for those looking forward to the return of cancelled community events. But health officials warn we're not out of the woods just yet.

"We're still certainly not in a situation where we have good herd immunity," Schneider said.

A little over 30% of Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated, and over 40% have received at least one dose. Officials say caution and masks are still needed in many cases.

"There is some relaxation now of the masking guidelines for fully vaccinated people but we still need to take caution particularly in large groups," Schneider said.

That includes outdoor concerts, graduations and sporting events.

For event organizers, officials say it's a good idea to limit the need for removing masks when large groups of people are gathering.

Actively drinking and eating, those sorts of situations need to be minimized as well as making sure there's adequate space for people to continue to socially distance," Schneider said.

Natalie Sopyla

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