Fully vaccinated National Football League players, staff can shed masks at team facilities

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CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said people who are fully vaccinated can forgo masks both indoors and outdoors, in most circumstances.

In states where there is a mask mandate, Costco said they "will follow the state or local regulations and continue to require members and guests to wear a face mask or face shield".

Until now, an Ohio Department of Health order has generally required people to wear masks while indoors, as well as in crowded outdoor settings such as sporting events, concerts, and parades.

The directive says for those people not fully vaccinated, they should continue to take precautions including mask wearing and avoiding indoor crowds.

Beginning Tuesday, Walmart employees who are fully vaccinated also will have the option of working without a mask. However, coronavirus rules for nursing homes and long-term-care facilities in the state - which include mask requirements during visits - will still remain in place after June 2.

"Effective immediately, fully vaccinated Tiered staff and players will not be required to wear masks anywhere in the club facility, either indoors or outdoors", the National Football League memo read in part. "That will remain their choice".

Citing the recent update regarding masks from the Center for Disease Control, the full operational update post from Hersheypark stated that "face coverings and social distancing for those who have been fully vaccinated will no longer be required when visiting Hersheypark".

"We're creating a situation where private companies or individuals are responsible for their business and find (ing) out if people are vaccinated - if they're even going to be enforcing that", said Rachael Piltch-Loeb, associate research scientist at New York University School of Global Public Health and a preparedness fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

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But the announcement represents a quantum shift in recommendations and a major loosening of the mask restrictions that Americans have had to live with since COVID-19 became a major part of US life 15 months ago.

During an earnings call Thursday, Disney CEO Bob Chapek suggested changes could be in store at the company's theme parks, which have had strict mask requirements. Vaccinated guests are also still welcome to continue wearing face coverings.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown said the new approach makes clear that vaccines are the fastest way to get back to doing the things "we all love". She said it represents a return to "some sense of normalcy".

The average number of new COVID-19 cases nationwide, over a weekly period, has fallen to 36,800 a day - a 23 per cent drop when compared to the previous seven-day period, and a 50 per cent decrease from the peak of the springtime wave recorded a month ago. "It was dividing our community".

Joe Biden said it was 'a great day for America'.

Why lift the mask mandate now?

Many had already been ditching mask orders in recent weeks.

Nearly 47% of the USA population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and almost 36% is fully vaccinated.

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