INDIANAPOLIS — The announcement made by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks indoors and outdoors is welcoming news for Hoosiers who have been masking up for more than a year now.
"I think that's awesome," Jason Schoffler said.
"You know, I think it's exciting," Hannah Williams said. "I do think that the world is getting to a place where there is less of a risk but I think I just kind of have that anxiety of I don't want us to digress. I just want us to keep moving forward."
It's been a long road for Williams, who works in the healthcare industry and has seen the effects of COVID-19 firsthand. She's already been vaccinated and will wear a mask when she needs to and keep it off when recommended.
"I will follow what the CDC recommends and then just kind of gauge it from there based on what I think the risk is," Williams said.
While the CDC is lifting the mask restrictions for people who are vaccinated, those who have yet to roll up their sleeve are still advised to wear a mask. The new change in rules is motivating to those like Cole Blakely.
"That sounds like great news and maybe make me want to even get the vaccination," Blakely said.
The CDC's latest announcement is a major milestone signaling progress in the nation's battle against the Coronavirus pandemic.
But in central Indiana, residents of Marion County will still have to follow the mask mandate, at least for now. Marion County's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Virginia Caine explained the outlook for Indianapolis-Marion County is good, but more residents need to get vaccinated before the countywide mask mandate can be lifted.
Tyler McDonald said he's OK with that.
"Personally, as long as it takes. So, if that means we wait a little longer for these [masks] for a better vaccine, that's what I'd be here for, because I like to take my time and so I would prefer that the government and city officials take their time as well," McDonald said.
Dr. Virginia Caine released the following statement pertaining to the CDC's announcement:
“Today's announcement from the CDC emphasizes the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine in preventing serious illness and death, and underscores the importance of the vaccine as our community's road map to more freedom and safety. In Marion County, the outlook is good – but efforts to get more people vaccinated and reduce the impact of COVID-19 continue. A mask mandate remains in effect at this time in Marion County as part of the current public health order ratified by the Indianapolis City-County Council on Monday. The Marion County Public Health Department will review this new CDC guidance along with an assessment of current local COVID-19 data and vaccination rates and make a recommendation to the City-County Council on the continued path toward opening our community safely.”