4 News Now Q&A: Do I need to wear my mask, even if I’m vaccinated?

Q: Do I need to wear my mask, even if I’m vaccinated?

A: The CDC says that you can go without your mask if you’re fully vaccinated. However, some Washington businesses are still requiring them regardless of vaccination.

Every business in Washington is able to set their own restrictions on mask wearing. If you don’t know the rules for that establishment, bring your mask just in case.

There are two weeks after your last required COVID-19 vaccine dose until you’re considered fully vaccinated, and can go maskless in places that allow it.

“Even with a majority of the population vaccinated, the removal of precautions could lead to an increase in virus spread,” researchers for the medical journal JAMA Network said.

Mehul Patel, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at UNC, found that COVID infections could persist if school closures, social distancing and mask-wearing precautions are lifted while vaccines were still being distributed. This was tested with a mathematical model to simulate COVID spread among the approximately 10 million people of North Carolina.

Though the CDC says you can go maskless, make sure you know the policies of the places you go before you go in without mask. If you don’t know their policy, wear a mask anyway.

In crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, it is still required for you to wear a mask, vaccinated or not.

By June 30, or when Washington reaches 70 percent of the state with at least one dose, you will be able to fully ditch the mask.

Do you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine? Submit them HERE.