Thursday's announcement by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask or stay 6 feet apart from others in most cases, whether indoors or outdoors, has been met with some confusion.

The CDC still calls for mask-wearing in crowded indoor settings such as planes, buses, trains, hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters, whether you've been vaccinated or not. So far, pretty easy to follow, but the "in most cases" line is sure to give some people a bunch of headaches.

The mask announcement by the CDC has led to expressions of relief and joy in some areas (the vaccinated community), but anger combined with disbelief in others (the vaccinated community, again). The major complaint I've seen is that individual states were not given the heads-up from the White House that this change in masking procedures was coming, and not enough coordination took place throughout the country.

The other major complaint or worry is that the unvaccinated people out there will simply stop wearing their masks (while claiming to have been vaccinated) right alongside the vaccinated folks who are ditching their masks. I think that those who are familiar with human nature would have to agree that this is going to happen to a certain degree. We'll have to wait and see on this particular angle.

Right after the CDC made their announcement, retailers across Rockford and the rest of the country started making changes to their mask rules. reports that by midday on Saturday, these stores dropped their mask requirements:

  • Walmart
  • Sam's Club
  • Starbucks
  • Trader Joe's
  • Costco
  • Publix
  • Sprouts

As for the retailers who've decided to keep mask mandates for customers and staff in place, USA Today says these are the businesses who are keeping a "wait and see" attitude:

  • Albertsons
  • Apple
  • CVS
  • Home Depot
  • Kroger
  • Macy's
  • Meijer
  • Walgreens
  • Winn-Dixie

If you're a Schnuck's shopper here in the Rockford area, this is the announcement made on the Schnuck's website on Saturday:

Effective immediately, Schnucks stores will no longer require fully-vaccinated customers to wear facemasks in our stores. At this time, Schnucks teammates will continue to wear facemasks while we review our internal policies and align with regulations in the municipalities in which we operate our 111 stores. For the latest updates, please visit our website.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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