Happy young female friends in swimming pool with inflatable ring. Smiling women enjoying in a pool.

The CDC's New Mask Guidance For Outdoors Means Shot Girl Summer Is On Its Way


Before the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, America had a good thing going: "hot girl summer." Now, in a world where COVID-19 has curtailed social interaction for over a year, rising vaccination rates are expected to give the country a much needed "shot girl summer" — but only if you've been vaccinated, according to health experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC's new mask guidance for outdoors means shot girl summer is officially on its way, so those who've been vaccinated can go back to spending their summers safely day drinking on the beach, like god intended.

On Tuesday, April 27, public health officials updated outdoor safety guidelines. Currently, vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear a mask if they're walking, running, hiking, or biking alone, with members of their household, or if they're attending small outdoor gatherings. The risk of transmitting the virus is so low, health officials say, that even those who haven't been vaccinated can go without masks at small outdoor gatherings (as long as they're around fully vaccinated people).

In an April 27 address, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky expressed that she feels hopeful for the first time in a long time. "I know the quarantine and shutdowns throughout the pandemic have been exhausting," she stated, per The New York Times. "I know we all miss the things we used to do before the pandemic and I know we all want to do the things we love and soon. Today is another day we can take a step back to the normalcy," she added.

Does this mean the CDC has given you the greenlight to throw a rager in your parent's backyard pool? Absolutely not.

According to Walensky, the CDC continues "to recommend masking in crowded outdoor settings and venues, such as packed stadiums and concerts, where there is decreased ability to maintain physical distance, and where many unvaccinated people may also be present." So if you're around a lot of unvaccinated people (or are yourself unvaccinated), indoors, or with a large group, you'll still have to practice proper COVID-19 precautions, like social distancing and double masking. As of April 27, approximately 29.1% of the total U.S. population has been vaccinated, per the CDC. To achieve herd immunity, health experts say at least 70% of the population must be vaccinated — meaning America still has a long way to go.

"Although these vaccines are extremely effective, we know that the virus spreads very well indoors. Until more people are vaccinated, and while we still have more then 50,000 cases a day, mask use indoors will provide extra protection," Walensky explained. However, when it comes to small outdoor gatherings, you and your vaccinated friends can wild all the way out with your Shot Girl Summers.