By Elly Cosgrove | April 27, 2021 at 11:30 PM EDT – Updated April 27 at 11:59 PM
CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. (WECT) – The Carolina Beach Boardwalk is a prime example of where the new CDC-issued outdoor mask guidance for fully vaccinated people will come into play.
The CDC announced that fully vaccinated people can ditch the mask if they are outdoors, even around other fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people. The agency still recommends, however, for vaccinated people to wear a mask if they are attending a crowded outdoor event.
Tuesday was a big day for Brenda Bush and Sandy Ross, both visiting from Raleigh, in more ways than one.
“This is my first day really out in a year and so I’m just so happy to be in the sun in a different location,” said Ross.
“I’ve been meeting my daughter and a lot of people in parking lots and driveways, ten feet apart, taking a chair — and spread out around the driveway, so this is nice,” Bush said.
As of Monday, they can now relax outside in more ways than one under the loosened masking guidelines as they are both fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
Sherry Stewart is also fully vaccinated and excited things are slowly getting back to a new normal.
“It’s great, you know, it’s another feeling of freedom, I think,” Stewart said. “I’ve had my double vaccinations, so I’m not really worried about it but if I was in an enclosed area where there were several other people I would have it on. But being outside is good.”
One retail worker on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk says she’s not sure how they will be able to enforce updated guidelines, especially ones that differs for those who are vaccinated and those who are not.
“I’m not sure about rules and restrictions of what we can and can’t ask,” said Alexandra Peevy, a cashier at K-Smart. “If we could ask for vaccination cards, like as a business, to be able to see who is fully vaccinated that would be great but if we’re not then we kind have to rely on word of mouth and you can’t really always depend on people being fully honest.”
There are others who see this step leading to bigger ones. Lindsay Brady, who is visiting Carolina Beach, said that she likes the new guidance and has tried her best to live a normal life over the course of the pandemic.
“I’m just glad that they’re doing it [loosening restrictions] and I can’t wait until Governor Cooper lifts all the restrictions,” Brady said.
Others are cautiously optimistic about the easing of restrictions.
“No I won’t wear mine outside,” Bush said about masking up under the new guidance. “No not outside unless people are getting close.”
Bush carries around two masks and always puts them both on whenever she goes inside a building. She said you never know who is fully vaccinated and who might have COVID-19 without any symptoms.
Ross said she has mixed emotions.
“I don’t know that the stats, that the numbers of people with or getting COVID are going down adequately, but I’m willing to wear the mask longer if necessary and happy to take them off outdoors,” Ross said.
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