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CDC eases face mask, social distancing norms for kids at summer camps

With cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) now abating in the United States, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday significantly eased mask recommendations for children at summer camps. The federal health body in a fresh set of guidelines said that kids who are fully vaccinated can skip wearing face masks or practice social distancing indoors or outside.

However, kids who are not yet fully vaccinated against the viral infection that has killed over three million people around the world, were advised to follow the norms especially if they are indoors or in crowded outdoor settings. Social distancing, staying 3 to 6 feet from others, is recommended for the unvaccinated, but not for the vaccinated, it said in the advisory according to news agency AP.

The revised guidelines come as summer camps start to open in parts of the country. Tom Rosenberg, president of the American Camp Association, said, the will open the door to a more conventional camp experience, AP reported.

Earlier this month, CDC said that it has relaxed the face mask rules for people who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. “If you are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, you can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, incl. local business and workplace guidance,” it said while announcing the decision.

US President Joe Biden also appeared without a mask and addressed reporters in the White House. “A great day,” in the fight against Covid-19, he said on May 13.

On May 10, the US government authorised the Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds, offering a way to protect the nation’s adolescents before they head back to school in the fall.

Children are far less likely than adults to get seriously ill from Covid-19, yet they represent nearly 14% of the nation’s coronavirus cases. At least 296 have died from Covid-19 in the US alone, and more than 15,000 have been hospitalised, AP reported citing a tally by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

According to a report by AP, about 2.5 million of the roughly 17 million US kids have gotten at least one shot. A second dose is required, three weeks after the first, and then it takes two more weeks before the vaccine fully takes effect.

(With agency inputs)

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