SAN DIEGO — On Thursday the CDC set new guidelines that say those who are fully vaccinated do not have to wear a mask. Now, the largest nurses’ union in the country says it does not support the CDC’s latest decision.
The president of the National Nurses United is speaking out about their stance on the CDC's decision saying they think the CDCs decision is premature and with only about 30% of the country being fully vaccinated, they’re concerned the virus will continue to spread.
“You can’t look at somebody and say, ‘You’re not vaccinated so you need to put on a mask,” said Deborah Berger, National Nurses United President.
National Nurses United said it’s going to be nearly impossible to truly know who’s been vaccinated and now they are speaking out about the continued dangers they say everyone faces during the pandemic.
“The issue that we have is that we are still working at hospitals providing care for patients that are sick and dying of COVID. When we have guidelines that exempt hospitals, major transportation and other areas from the release of not having to wear a mask, it’s causing a lot of confusion,” Berger said.
The group said more than 35,000 new infections are reported daily and more than 600 people still die from COVID-19 each day.
Still, the CDC said if you are fully vaccinated, wearing a mask is only required in select locations, and states, cities and businesses can still impose stricter regulations. California’s mask mandate is still in place, and Berger said the new CDC guidelines will still put healthcare workers at risk.
“There are a number of groups that aren’t getting vaccinated. One of them is the anti-vaxxers, and the people of a particular that never wanted to wear a mask to begin with so they’re going to say ‘of course I got a vaccine',” Berger said.
On Wednesday, National Nurses United held a vigil to honor the over 400 nurses nationwide that died of coronavirus. Berger also said that more variants of the virus could be out there and experts don’t know if the vaccine will be able to fight them.
National Nurses United said it will continue to lobby the CDC to reverse its decision about masks until more people are vaccinated.
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