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KNBC: Cedars-Sinai Encourages Californians to Keep Masks Handy as State Reopens

KNBC recently published a City News Service story explaining why Californians shouldn't ditch their masks just yet, even though individuals who are vaccinated against COVID-19 are no longer required to wear them in most situations.

In the article, Cedars-Sinai infectious disease specialists Michael Ben-Aderet, MD, and Jillian Oft, MD, recommended keeping a mask on hand for the following scenarios:

  • When masks are still required—during travel, in healthcare settings, in some workplaces
  • In crowded spaces—especially for immunocompromised patients
  • During cold and flu season—to prevent the spread of those respiratory illnesses

Oft, who treats patients in Cedars-Sinai's COVID-19 Recovery Program, advised being extra cautious when gathering in large groups. "Any situation where I am sharing air with a lot of people—things like movie theaters and concerts come to mind—I would definitely consider wearing a mask in that situation," she said in the article.

But it's important to remain flexible, said Ben-Aderet, who is associate director of Hospital Epidemiology at Cedars-Sinai. He explained that public health guidelines could change if the number of COVID-19 cases starts climbing again.

“These recommendations are likely to remain somewhat complex, because they're based on multiple variables, like community prevalence of COVID-19, overall vaccination rate, level of risk and specific populations,” he said in the article.

The bottom line? Get used to wearing masks. They will remain powerful tools against COVID-19 and other viral illnesses far into the foreseeable future.

Click here to read the complete story from KNBC.