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INDIANAPOLIS — New guidance announced this afternoon when it comes to mask-wearing for Americans. If you are fully vaccinated, you are no longer required to wear a mask outdoors as long as you are not in a big crowd.

President Joe Biden made this announcement from the White House after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance.  The president says the CDC is convinced that the odds of getting the virus while outdoors is very low as long as people are vaccinated.

This announcement comes as more than 1.7 million Hoosiers have been fully vaccinated.

“Starting today if you are fully vaccinated and you are outdoors and not in a big crowd you no longer need to wear a mask,” said President Biden.

A big change coming from the nation’s capital after many Americans have been wearing masks since last summer. If you are fully vaccinated, you can safely unmask outdoors but there are still criteria. 

 “I want to be absolutely clear if you’re in a crowd like at a stadium or at a conference or a concert you still need to wear a mask even if you’re outside,” said President Biden.

But if you gather with a group of friends who are vaccinated you can remove your mask as long as you’re outdoors.

“We’ve seen several studies published recently in various medical journals that show that individuals who have had COVID-19 or have been vaccinated against COVID-19 that after they’ve been vaccinated for example their risk of transmitting the virus to other people is very very low,” said Dr. Brian Dixon, Director of Public Health and Informatics, Regenstrief Institute.

The president says the bottom line is clear, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.  And local experts like Dr. Dixon say the masks are still effective. 

“They are effective on airplanes, they are effective in tight spaces, they are effective in whatever they are use,” said Dr. Dixon.

Those who are not fully vaccinated, are still encouraged to wear masks even outdoors.

“This is another great reason to go get vaccinate now,” said President Biden.

The CDC answered questions about why masks are still required for everyone in large event scale events

The CDC says, it’s because there’s no way of knowing who is vaccinated and who isn’t, and that’s the best way to protect everyone.

This will apply next month at the Indy 500- where 135,000 people will be required to wear masks.