Jim Inman (Photo: Indy Star)
The CDC has expanded guidelines for Americans vaccinated against COVID-19.
In an announcement on Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that fully-vaccinated Americans do not need to wear a mask outside, except in crowded situations.
Americans can also engage in outdoor activities such as walking, running, biking or hiking without a mask.
The guidelines go on to note that vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask during small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated family and friends, or at events with a mixture of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
These steps toward normalcy come as nearly 30% of the US population has been fully vaccinated and more than 42% have received at least one dose of vaccine.
The CDC is recommending people wear masks at crowded outdoor events such as concerts, sporting events and parades.
In the last two weeks, the Indianapolis Indians and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway have made plans to welcome fans to baseball games and the Indianapolis 500 race. The Marion County Department of Health has worked with both organizations to balance attendance with on-site temperature checks, social distanced seating and other plans to maximize safety.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb removed the mask mandate earlier this month, allowing local governments to determine the need for masks. Monroe County’s mask mandate will run through the end of May.
COVID-19 vaccinations are ongoing in Indiana. As of Tuesday afternoon nearly 1.8 million Hoosiers are fully vaccinated.
Say hello to your new neighbors!
On Monday, the US Census Bureau released updates for the national census.
Indiana’s population was nearly 6.8 million, as of April 1, 2020. That number is up just over 300,000 from the 2010 census.
One of the key takeaways from the census report is that Indiana will keep its representation in the US House of Representatives and the Senate.
The country is limited to 100 senators and 435 representatives from the 50 states. The number of senators is two per state, while the representatives adjust each decade depending on the growth or reduction of residents in each state.
Illinois, Michigan and Ohio all lost congressional seats due to the census results.
Overall, the United States has more than 331 million residents, a growth of more than seven percent since the 2010 census.
Utah grew the most, at 18.4%, while West Virginia lost 3.2% of its population over the last decade.