Mask or no mask? Atlantans react to CDC loosening requirements for fully vaccinated

ATLANTA — The CDC has loosened their guidance on masks for fully vaccinated people, saying those who have been vaccinated no longer need to wear masks.

Mask-wearing is still required in places like airlines, public transportation and prisons, but aren’t required if you’re just out and about.

Some Atlantans are still cautious, however. Among the most popular questions is “How do I know the people around me are vaccinated?”

“I’m gonna keep my mask on. I understand what they’re talking about, but I’mma keep mine on,” said Atlanta resident Rebecca Cross.

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Just hours after the new guidance came out, it became clear that it won’t be one size fits all.

“I think people just need to take the time and get comfortable with it. Everybody’s gonna have their own anxieties. And I agree...if you’re vaccinated try to push the boundaries slowly and slowly,” said Nachik Eth, who has been vaccinated.

There are still some who are hesitant about getting the vaccine or who don’t believe enforcement is even possible.

“People will surely circumvent owners’ regulations that they think are completely ridiculous. It will happen. No one will know about it because it doesn’t get reported. There’s no way to, because people won’t tell you about it,” said Atlanta resident Anderson Neff.

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For schools, Fulton County is planning to keep their mask mandate for now. Cobb County and Marietta schools are saying those who are fully vaccinated can ditch the mask. Cobb County is taking a step further in saying masks will be optional for all students next year.

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Dr. Cecil Bennett is a Newnan-based family medicine physician. His staff is fully vaccinated and he stopped requiring fully vaccinated patients to wear masks last week.

“I think the CDC had no choice but to make this move. Not because of the pressure from society, but because the data has been overwhelming,” said Dr. Bennett.

Channel 2′s Nicole Carr asked Dr. Bennett how he thought this new guidance would affect other businesses who don’t know if those coming through the door are vaccinated or not.

He said, “This is the point I want to make very clear for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. Let’s say I own a business and my staff is vaccinated. Whoever walks in there, I know they’re protected because they’re vaccinated. If they’re not wearing a mask and they’re vaccinated, everyone’s protected. If you walked in without a mask and you’re not vaccinated, you’re around a majority of people who are fully vaccinated. Being in there at the same time with a symptomatic person who’s gonna sneeze on you or be around you for an extended period of time is remote because so many people are now vaccinated.”