DENVER (CBS4) – The Centers for Disease Control on Tuesday issued new guidelines for people fully vaccinated through wearing face masks. Governor Jared Polis said Colorado is ahead of the CDC’s recommendations in many ways, and health experts say the easing of restrictions is a promising sign of the direction the state is headed in its response to COVID-19.

(Photo Credit: by BARBARA GINDL / APA / AFP via Getty Images)

“In Colorado, we have never had an outdoor masking requirement during this entire pandemic. Some congregations have done that, most of them came to an end a few weeks ago, “Polis said during a press conference on Tuesday. “We are ahead of the CDC.”

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The new CDC recommendations state that fully vaccinated people can do the following activities without wearing masks:

  • Go for a walk, run, hike, or cycle outdoors alone or with members of your household
  • Attend small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated family members and friends
  • Attend small outdoor gatherings with a mix of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people
  • Eating at outdoor restaurants with multi-household friends.

“Even the current mask requirements don’t apply to groups of vaccinated individuals in Colorado. So if 10 or more people are not vaccinated, wear a mask, but if there are a dozen people and you know three families and you are all vaccinated, there is no mask requirement in our state, ”Polis said.

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Fully vaccinated individuals can also participate in “a crowded outdoor event such as a live performance, parade or sporting event,” as long as they remain masked, according to a CDC infographic of the new guidelines.

(Credit: Centers for Disease Control)

“The CDC is looking into all the great data behind the vaccines and how effective they are, and is changing the guidelines accordingly,” said Emma Waymire, director of infection prevention at St. Luke’s Presbyterian and Rocky Mountain Children’s Hospital. “I think that’s just great, super encouraging, and I expect we’ll see more guides and really get back to doing more of the activities we enjoyed before the pandemic.”

Both Waymire and the governor acknowledged that the CDC guidelines could help convince more people to get the vaccine after learning about the lifestyle changes people enjoy after being fully vaccinated.

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“I think the reality is that we probably have several months of masking in some form ahead of us,” said Waymire.