ANA Responds to New CDC Mask Guidance

 In Nurses Weekly

The American Nurses Association (ANA) recognizes that nurses are still on the frontlines fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and it will take all of us to continue to implement public health mitigation strategies to control the spread and the devastating impact of this virus. With only 43.9% of eligible individuals ages 12 and older currently being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the U.S. continues to miss the mark necessary to end the pandemic. The lag in COVID-19 vaccination uptick in many communities impedes much needed relief for nurses, health care professionals and other essential workers who continue to provide valuable services under difficult circumstances.

ANA is concerned that the new mask guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for fully vaccinated individuals has brought confusion to many. Scientific evidence continues to grow that demonstrates the effectiveness of authorized COVID-19 vaccines to prevent significant illness and reduce transmission among fully vaccinated individuals. Because vaccines continue to show such promise, ANA calls on all medically able individual to get vaccinated so that everyone can safely stop wearing masks and engaging in other public health mitigation strategies.

The success of the new CDC guidance for fully vaccinated individuals relies on all of us to exercise caution and to be accountable for our own actions. Masks continue to be required in all health care settings whether you are vaccinated or not. Additional guidance from the CDC may also be necessary for businesses and employers that are trying to determine which mask polices continue to make sense as they navigate the uncertainties created by lack of knowledge about individuals’ vaccination status.

It is important that we work together to build on the progress made to combat COVID-19. As is always the case, everyone needs to monitor their personal health and stay home if you are feeling sick or have a fever. Access to COVID-19 vaccines is now easier than ever. Find a vaccination location near you and get vaccinated against COVID-19.

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