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People May Elect To Wear Masks Even After Mandates Are Lifted, Experts Say

BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ) -- A question on many people's minds, how long will we be wearing masks and when can they come off entirely, if at all?

Currently, in Maryland, if you've been vaccinated, you are allowed to take the mask off outside, assuming that you're also able to social distance. But, you're still required to wear a mask inside at all times. Doctors said that's not likely to change any time soon.

"The outside restriction is clearly about to come before the inside restriction," explained Dr. Esti Schableman, Chief Medical Officer for Sinai Hospital.

Dr. Schabelman said we will not be wearing masks forever, but that we have to wait until the majority of people are vaccinated.

"The restrictions and the recommendations about mask wearing do go hand-in-hand with vaccination. So, if you're vaccinated, you have fewer restrictions," he said.

According to Infectious Disease experts, the United States has had a non-existent flu season because of the precautions taken to combat Covid-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, suggested wearing a mask may become a seasonal practice.

"People might actually elect to wear a mask to diminish the likelihood of spreading these respiratory diseases," said Dr. Fauci.

We posed the question to the public, when it comes to ultimately easing the mask requirement indoors, how are you feeling? We got a range of responses including "relieved," "uncomfortable," and "anxious."

"I think we're headed in the right direction, but it's a little bit too early to take the masks off inside," said Mark Jensen from Baltimore.

"With vaccines rolling out so quickly, I think that's really great, but, at the same time, there is so much unknown," added Kailynn Maloy, also from Baltimore.

Dr. Schabelman described his feeling as "optimistic." He said as long as the community works together, gets vaccinated and follows the recommended mask and social distancing requirements, that we're headed in the right direction.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department's website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ's coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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