CDC director clarifies new mask removal guidance after confusion

Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the guidance does not grant permission for widespread removal of masks for those who have not been fully vaccinated yet.
2:52 | 05/17/21

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Transcript for CDC director clarifies new mask removal guidance after confusion
The latest now on the pandemic and the CDC's new mask guidelines. This was the first weekend vaccinated people don't need to wear masks in most settings. Eva pilgrim reports from a trader Joe's here in New York. Good morning, Eva. Reporter: Good morning, George. Let me walk you through this. Trader Joe's is one of the companies that lifted its mask rules when the CDC changed its guidance, but guidance is just that. It's not the law. If you go into this trader Joe's here in New York, you still have to wear a mask, and that's because the state of New York still has a mask mandate that requires masks when you are indoors. The rules are very different from store to store, state to state, and that has a lot of people shaking their heads. This morning, from the Las Vegas strip to the ballpark, people enjoying the freedom of going mask-free after the CDC's announcement that fully vaccinated Americans can ditch their masks, but while the guidance from the CDC may have changed, mandates in some states have not. 22 states still have some sort of mask mandate in place. The mixed messagng causing confusion. Actor Ricky Schroder facing backlash after posting this video, arguing with a Costco employee. They said you don't need to wear a mask. Actually, that's not What is accurate? What is accurate is that Costco always goes above and beyond when following the law, and the mandate in California has not changed. Reporter: Costco is one of the several businesses including Starbucks, Walmart and trader Joe's all dropping their mask rules in stores, but only in states without mandates in place. Most of the U.S. Population, almost two-thirds of Americans are not yet fully vaccinated. The CDC director saying, if you are one of those people, you should still wear a mask. We are asking people to take their health into their own hands, to get vaccinated and if they don't, then they continue to be at risk. Reporter: But the largest nurse's union in the country disagreeing with the CDC, condemning the mask rollback saying it puts those who are immunocompromised, children and frontline workers at risk. Those that have gone to work every single day during this pandemic and willingly gone to work, they depend on every layer of protection. Reporter: And the CDC is expected to update its guidance for schools for the next school year in the coming weeks. The recommendations for schools for this school year will remain the same. Social distancing, masking in classrooms, and they say that's because a lot of students haven't had the opportunity yet to get the vaccine. George? Eva pilgrim, thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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