To mask or not to mask?

The Centers for Disease Control has relaxed mask rules for fully vaccinated people — those who have been vaccinated are free to go without a mask indoors and outdoors with some exceptions — health care facilities, while flying or taking public transit, and in congregate settings such as homeless shelters and jails. But what does that mean here in Plumas County?

Lori Beatley, spokeswoman for Plumas County Public Health, said that the county is awaiting state guidance. As of now, state guidance requires residents — vaccinated or not — to wear masks indoors or when in close proximity to others.

The CDC specifically noted that its new guidelines do not override those put in place by states and local jurisdictions. Beatley said she is hopeful that new state guidance would be issued in the next couple of days.

Across the country, entities are adjusting their requirements, but it’s a patchwork approach. And in some areas where states are implementing the new CDC guidelines, businesses are reluctant to drop the mask mandate for fear it will make their employees more vulnerable to the virus. Because while the CDC allows fully vaccinated people to enter facilities without a mask, there is no mechanism to verify that an individual is indeed fully vaccinated.

This will be a dynamic situation as the county and country continue to adjust to the latest guidance regarding the coronavirus pandemic.