Stephen: Masks, social distancing could be around longer than COVID-19

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We’re all very familiar with wearing masks and social distancing, but experts are saying both of those precautions might be the “new normal” for a while. Johns Hopkins University researchers say that although people are getting vaccinated, the country will need to see a “continued decline in the number of [infections], hospitalizations and deaths” before restrictions can be relaxed. Keri Althoff, professor of epidemiology adds that more of the country will need to be vaccinated against the virus as well.

Also, since it remains unclear whether the vaccines help reduce the spread of COVID-19, those vaccinated should continue to wear masks to protect the people around them. In addition, even those who are vaccinated will need to hold off on international travel to avoid bringing new variants of the virus elsewhere, or home with them. Althoff adds, “This is a process, not a light switch, where we can turn off COVID-19 and turn on what our life used to be like.”

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