Photo contributed by Sophie Spheeris ’23
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated new guidelines for individuals who have received both of their COVID-19 vaccinations. As of April 27, those who have received both shots are able to safely attend small outdoor gatherings without having to wear a mask. However, these individuals must continue to wear masks in indoor public areas and in larger crowds where exposure may be higher.
These new recommendations from the CDC say that those who are fully vaccinated can attend small outdoor gatherings with a mixture of vaccinated and unvaccinated people, dine outside at restaurants with people from other households and perform physical activity outside with others without a mask.
“I would feel 100% comfortable around others that are fully vaccinated without a mask on,” Will Holleman ’23 said. “I think that everyone who is fully vaccinated should have a choice whether or not they want to wear a mask outside of school.”
When these new rules were announced, 1,925,754 people have received their first shot (53.9% of the Connecticut 18+ population) and 1,306,500 have gotten both shots of the COVID-19 vaccine in Connecticut.
“I think that the new CDC guidelines are not very safe for those who aren’t vaccinated,” Ashley Julien ’23 said. “It’s still important to keep the guidelines more restricted while everyone else gets vaccinated since there’s still always the chance of cases increasing.”
At Staples, students have found that these guidelines will benefit their social and academic lives, especially with more outdoor activities.
“Being fully vaccinated for lacrosse season has been really nice because I don’t have to worry about being contact traced from other players,” Gabe Chinitz ’22 said. “We still have to stay mindful about the players that aren’t vaccinated and their risk [of] exposure [and] getting COVID.”
President Biden used the new mask guideline to urge Americans to get the vaccine. He claimed that if everyone in the country got their vaccinations, it would reduce the spreading of the virus and increase the safety of Americans.
“I would feel comfortable around others that are fully vaccinated without a mask because I trust the science behind the vaccine and how effective it is,” Ellery Vishno ’23 said. “I also don’t think the CDC would be creating guidelines that would put myself or others around me at risk.”