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Vaccinated Astronauts Alone in Outer Space Can Remove Masks, CDC Says

Image credit: CNET and NASA in “NASA astronaut wears face mask on ISS to prepare for life back on Earth” at https://cnet.co/3nudynX, 19/10/2020

Following Fox News’ conservative host Tucker Carlson’s controversial comments on wearing masks, the Centers for Disease Control aimed to strike a balance and has relaxed its restrictions for vaccinated Americans. The CDC now says that those who are fully vaccinated can remove their masks, as long as they are astronauts who are at least 250 miles above the Earth’s surface with no other life forms aboard their vessel.

The new guidelines, issued late Tuesday, marks a significant shift for the CDC, which previously stated that astronauts must leave the solar system completely before removing their masks.

“Today is a major step towards normalcy for those that have received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and then stepped aboard a spacecraft for a solo mission beyond Earth’s atmosphere,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a press conference. “We do ask that you put your mask back on before you return to Earth, or if you come in contact with any Martians.”

The guidelines also relaxed its rules for the deceased, saying that masks are no longer necessary for the vaccinated once they are dead and buried. Dr. Walensky cautioned, however, that they must wait until they are lowered six feet underground before removing their masks.

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