Statement attributable to:
Gerald E. Harmon, M.D.
President, American Medical Association
“Today’s updated recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reflect a new approach for monitoring COVID-19 in communities. Vaccines work; they are effective in preventing severe COVID, hospitalization and death. And we urge all Americans to stay up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccines, including getting a booster dose, when eligible.
“But even as some jurisdictions lift masking requirements, we must grapple with the fact that millions of people in the U.S. are immunocompromised, more susceptible to severe COVID outcomes, or still too young to be eligible for the vaccine. In light of those facts, I personally will continue to wear a mask in most indoor public settings, and I urge all Americans to consider doing the same, especially in places like pharmacies, grocery stores, on public transportation— locations all of us, regardless of vaccination status or risk factors, must visit regularly. Although masks may no longer be required indoors in many parts of the U.S., we know that wearing a well-fitted mask is an effective way to protect ourselves and our communities, including the most vulnerable, from COVID-19—particularly in indoor settings when physical distancing is not possible.
“Wearing a mask, physical distancing, and staying home if you’re sick are small, but important protective measure that can help us all stay safe. While the Omicron surge has declined, COVID-19 is not gone. We must remain adaptable and vigilant in confronting this unpredictable virus.”