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CORONAVIRUS

R.I. not yet following CDC guidance for vaccinated people to forgo masks indoors

Under Rhode Island’s executive orders, people still have to wear masks in public settings, including grocery stores and other retail businesses

Customers wear masks as they wait outside a footwear store at Providence Place shopping mall, Monday, June 1, 2020, in Providence, R.I.
Customers wear masks as they wait outside a footwear store at Providence Place shopping mall, Monday, June 1, 2020, in Providence, R.I.Steven Senne/Associated Press

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidance Thursday to say that people vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer had to wear masks or stay socially distant indoors or outdoors in most settings.

But Rhode Island isn’t changing its mask rules right away to match the CDC guidance. That means under Rhode Island’s executive orders, people still have to wear masks in public settings.

There are some exceptions, like if they’ve been fully vaccinated and they’re outside and not in a crowded setting. The outdoor exception for vaccinated people went into effect in late April, matching CDC guidance that had been unveiled a few days before.

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Rhode Island’s mask order also says people have to wear them while in grocery stores, pharmacies and other retail businesses.

The CDC’s change in guidance on Thursday gave states the leeway to have stricter guidance on masks, according to the state Department of Health. It also said people still had to follow business and workplace guidance, and masks will still be required on planes, trains and buses, among other settings.

Governor Dan McKee said Thursday that the state would review the new CDC guidance.

“Just like we responded to the outdoor masks a few weeks back, we’ll be promptly looking at it and relying on our Health Department to make the right call,” McKee said. “The CDC is a good endorsement.”


Brian Amaral can be reached at brian.amaral@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @bamaral44.