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CDC’s Rochelle Walensky throws out first pitch for Red Sox game

Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Rochelle Walensky waves to the crowd before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before a baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Miami Marlins, Saturday, May 29, 2021, in Boston.
Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Rochelle Walensky waves to the crowd before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before a baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Miami Marlins, Saturday, May 29, 2021, in Boston.Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, came out to Fenway Park to throw the first pitch for the Red Sox-Miami Marlins game on a rainy Saturday.

Walensky’s pitch coincides with a historic day for Massachusetts’ pandemic reopening rollout. Most coronavirus restrictions were lifted Saturday, and those who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 aren’t being required to wear masks or social distance, in most situations.

Boston Red Sox hosted the Miami Marlins at Fenway Park in Boston Saturday, May 29, 2021.
Boston Red Sox hosted the Miami Marlins at Fenway Park in Boston Saturday, May 29, 2021. MARK STOCKWELL FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

Businesses, such as restaurants, stores, and gyms, are also returning to full capacity. Some local stadiums are also increasing capacity, with Fenway Park planning to see 25,000 to 30,000 people in the stands on Saturday, according to a previous Globe story.

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The shift in precautions for Mass. came after Walensky announced on May 13 that “anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” during a White House COVID-19 briefing.

While some states embraced the directive from the CDC almost immediately, Governor Charlie Baker decided for the state to begin mirroring the guidance almost two weeks later.

Walensky officially became the 19th director of the CDC on Jan. 20 and was previously the chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital.


Lauren Booker can be reached at lauren.booker@globe.com.