Guidelines Ease, CDC Head Cautiously Optimistic

Washington -
Mask-wearing and vaccinations during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Queens borough of New York City, U.S., April 27, 2021. (Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

Top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says it’s likely as coronavirus cases go down, guidelines aimed at protecting people against the spread will be loosened.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has eased its guidelines on the wearing of masks outdoors, saying fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to cover their faces anymore unless they are in a large crowd of strangers.

Fauci told NBC, “You are definitely going to see the CDC come back and be more flexible. They’re going to be pulling back on some of the restrictions — guarantee it.”

The seven-day rolling average for daily new cases in the U.S. has not increased during the last two weeks, according to data through April 27 from Johns Hopkins University.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky tells ABC’s “Good Morning America” she’s “cautiously optimistic” about the coronavirus situation in the U.S., as cases appear to have “plateaued.”

But she says the virus is opportunistic, so health officials need to make sure there’s uniform vaccination across the country and there aren’t any largely non-vaccinated communities.