Deciding whether to go without mask may not be simple for parents

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)- Many people are celebrating the CDC’s announcement that fully vaccinated people can ditch their masks indoors and out. For others, especially parents, the decision to go mask-less is not that simple   

There is no way to tell who is and is not vaccinated against COVID-19, but the experts at UW Health say it’s safe to assume you’ll soon be in a crowd with both.

“Yes, it’s likely there are going to be unvaccinated people going without a mask,” says UW Health Dr. Matt Anderson.

Fully vaccinated adults can feel confident that their risk of getting COVID-19 is low, Anderson said. But no vaccine is 100 percent effective. And, if you’re the parent of a child too young to be vaccinated, Anderson says it’s best to consider their health too.

“The key message there is really think about that the risk is for individuals in your household and what activities you are comfortable doing; recognizing that its low risk but not zero risk,” Anderson says.

That could mean going mask-less only outside or in places where you can maintain 6 feet of social distancing. Wherever you believe the risk for your family is low.

“You individually control how far away you are from other people, whether you wear a mask in public,” he says.

The CDC changes can be frustrating and confusing, says Anderson, who added that they are also exciting. It means vaccination efforts are working. 

Experts say vaccines are helping drive down the number of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin, but the pandemic isn’t over yet, and a primary way to contain it is testing. UW Health is reminding the public that testing is easy, free and widely available, and is the most precise way to track COVID-19 cases.