As of July 12th, the CDC mask guidelines are as follows: those who are already fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks indoors. But some states have made a few alterations to the guidelines:
California - Masks are still fully required indoors whether vaccinated or not
New York - Under review
Missouri - Lifting all mask requirements
With the Delta variant making its way across the states, and with start of the next school year right around the corner, the mixed mask policies are causing some parents and kids concern about an increase in bullying. Some parents say they hope guidelines will help motivate more parents to vaccinate their kids. Others fear masking vs not masking will target students, and teachers won’t have the bandwidth to intervene.
Dr. Robert Keder, a pediatrician who specializes in developmental behavior at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, says “We see that adults are bullying each other over wearing masks or not," he says, so it’s even more likely to see this sort of behavior in kids. "We need to teach kids that wearing a mask, even if you choose to but don't 'have to,' is OK," he says. "People might be doing it for reasons that aren't obvious — they haven't been vaccinated, they're immunocompromised or they have someone at home who is sick."
Before your child goes back to school this year, make sure to talk to them about their concerns and yours. Here are some bullying tips from StopBullying.Gov: