Fauci says masks could soon come off indoors if vaccine rates go up

Wearing a mask indoors...may soon be a thing of the past.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- Wearing a mask indoors…may soon be a thing of the past.

In an interview with ABC News this weekend, Dr. Anthony Fauci said mask guidelines will be much more liberal by July 4th, if COVID cases continue to drop and vaccination rates keep going up.

President Biden has set a goal of having 70% of adults vaccinated by July 4th.

Our country’s vaccination rate currently stands at 58%.

Dr. Philip Chan of The Rhode Island Health Department told ABC6 what vaccination rate it would take to get rid of all mask mandates in Rhode Island.

” We’re thinking about 70-80 plus percent. We’re also concerned with these variants which are more infectious meaning that number may have to be even higher,” Chan said.

While the state currently ranks in the top ten in the country in terms of vaccination rates, the state said they’ll still be waiting on CDC guidance before a decision is made on easing masks.

Local residents said they’d prefer the state to wait as well.

“If this mandate were to go into effect tomorrow I don’t think I would be very comfortable with it,” Providence resident Sean Severson said. “Eventually maybe by the end of the summer or if more data is released on vaccinations I would be open to the idea.”

While it’s not a requirement…Dr. Fauci is still recommending masks to be worn during seasons where respiratory illness is more likely…such as the flu season.

Something Dr. Amy Nunn of The Rhode Island Public Health Institute agrees with.

“I think what he’s suggesting is that making has been effective to reduce COVID and FLU transmission that we should consider it in the fall and winter months.”

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