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Photo: Noam Galai via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that vaccinated adolescents don't need to wear face masks if they attend camps this summer, and younger unvaccinated campers can generally go maskless when outdoors.

Why it matters: This spring's evolving public health recommendations have made it difficult for camps to plan programming, the Washington Post reports. The updated guidance aims to standardize the guidance.

What they're saying: If everyone is fully vaccinated prior to the start of the program, the camp can return to full capacity without mask or social distancing requirements.

  • At camps where not everyone is vaccinated, inoculated people do not need to wear face coverings, but unvaccinated people are "strongly encouraged" to wear masks indoors. They should also wear masks outdoors when in close proximity to others.
  • If there is no way to know who is and is not vaccinated, camps can defer to previous guidance recommending masks for all.
  • "Although people who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks, camp programs should be supportive of campers or staff who choose to wear a mask," the CDC said. The guidance is intended for "all types of youth day and overnight camps."

The big picture: About 2.5 million adolescents ages 12 to 15 have had one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, a CDC team lead told the Post.

  • The agency still urges everyone ages 12 and older to get the vaccine as soon as possible.

Go deeper

Sep 2, 2021 - Health

Israeli coronavirus vaccine booster data gives the U.S. hope

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Preliminary Israeli data shows that coronavirus booster shots quickly spike a person's protection against both severe disease and infection, suggesting that the additional shots could help blunt the virus' spread in the U.S. — although it's very unclear how much.

Why it matters: The Biden administration has said that the main rationale for its booster push is to stay ahead of any waning of the vaccines' effectiveness against severe disease. But slowing the spread of the Delta variant would be a welcome bonus.

Sep 1, 2021 - Health

Texas school temporarily closes after two teachers die from COVID-19 in a week

American and Texas state flag. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A school in Texas closed for the rest of the week on Tuesday after two teachers died from COVID-19 within a week, the Waco Tribune-Herald reports.

State of play: The campus at Connally Junior High School won't open until after Labor Day for deep sanitation, after sixth-grade social studies teacher Natalia Chansler died on Aug. 28, having notified the school three days earlier that she tested positive for COVID-19.

Sep 2, 2021 - Health

Fauci: Mu COVID variant not an "immediate threat" to U.S.

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci said at a press briefing Thursday that the coronavirus variant Mu, which the World Health Organization is now tracking, does not pose an immediate threat to the U.S.

Driving the news: WHO added the Mu strain, first detected in Colombia in January, to its "Variants of Interest" list Monday, warning that early data suggest it may be more resistant to protection from prior infection or vaccination.

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