The CDC’s recent declaration that fully vaccinated individuals do not have to wear a mask in public settings (unless required) faced major concerns from nurses on the frontlines of the continuing pandemic. The president of National Nurses United, Jean Ross, explained the confusion over the sudden change in guidelines and the risks it poses.
With the new recommendation, nurses express they are now at an increased risk with a higher chance of exposure. Masks help slow the spread of the virus and the new variants that are putting people in hospitals. So, the CDC’s abrupt change of stance on masks does not add up for the union of nurses.
Nurses are urging the CDC to revise the guidelines because they have come too soon. A major condition of the masking update is that only individuals who have been fully vaccinated can be without a mask. This relies on people being truthful about their vaccination status. It also relies on people knowing whether they have the virus since many people do not experience any symptoms when they are actively contagious.
National Nurses United has made clear their stance on the CDC’s announcement, but it seems like not much has changed. It is not clear if nurses will take more action to convince the CDC to reverse their statement. The pandemic put the heaviest burden on healthcare workers, and they haven’t found much relief. Nurses doubt if the new mask mandate is the right step.
Many questions still remain about the new guidelines as the virus continues to take lives and put stress on healthcare systems. It seems like many people are ditching their masks for good while others are still taking every precaution and choosing to wear their masks even while vaccinated. Unfortunately, the answers are not clear yet.