St. Louis task force urges more vaccinations as COVID guidelines relax

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A groundbreaking moment in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is easing mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people. The new guidance is a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life.

People fully vaccinated against COVID-19 don’t need to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, except under certain circumstances.

President Biden applauded the American people for their sacrifice and hard work to reach this point in fighting back the pandemic. “We’ve endured so much and so many lost jobs so many businesses lost,” the president said

But the news doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. “As great as this announcement is today, we don’t want to let up,” Biden said

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said this is a step toward normalcy, “You can start doing the things you had stopped doing because of the pandemic we have all fought for this moment.”

The CDC stopped short of allowing fully vaccinated people to ditch their mask when traveling on buses, trains, planes and public transportation. And those with compromised immune systems should speak with their doctors before giving up their masks.

The Incident Commander of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force called on unvaccinated individuals to get the shot or continue to mask up. Dr. Alex Garza said, “for people that are unvaccinated and choose to go without a mask in a crowded indoor space they’re sort of taking a chance there because the virus is still out there it’s still circulating. People can still get sick. In our press release today, we noted there was nine deaths today from COVID which is a dramatic increase from what we’ve been seeing.”

Dr. Garza says he foresees issues developing when people not wearing a mask are asked to prove they’ve been vaccinated.

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