On May 16, 2021 the CDC announced that fully vaccinated individuals could enthusiastically rip the masks from their faces and go forth out into the world maskless like they did prior to all this mess. Social distancing? Gone. Hiding in your apartment? Forget it.
From the CDC website:
- If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.
- Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
Yay, right? That day we felt a year ago might never come came and here we are.
Well, hold on. On May 25, 2021 Prometric updated their Coronavirus landing page and reiterated to candidates that masks are required for test-takers at Prometric locations for now. “Bring and wear a mask during the entirety of their time at the test center or your exam will be terminated,” reads the page.
In their own words, Prometric states that they adapted current procedures based on CDC guidance, which as pointed out above now says that fully vaccinated individuals can go maskless:
In the wake of the pandemic, we have further enhanced these procedures to reflect the practical guidance of the CDC and WHO to limit the spread of the disease. This includes actions such as requiring face coverings for both staff and test takers, offering hand sanitizer to candidates, wiping down all workstations and equipment after every test taker, and cleaning common areas with disinfectant multiple times per day. Further, safety practices have been enacted throughout the testing process and will be dependent on local government guidelines.
The future CPAs of r/CPA (mostly) agree that it’s time for Prometric to embrace updated CDC guidance and let them take the masks off.
A reasonable position, no?
I don’t know about you guys but my biggest struggle throughout all of this has been being able to see. With every recommendation I was given for a mask that I could wear with glasses, I encountered only more disappointment as said mask failed to live up to the hype and left me foggy-eyed like all the rest. I can’t even see subtitles on the massive TV just feet away from me without my glasses on, I can’t possibly imagine being able to get through a four-hour exam without them. Let the people see!
Of course, Prometric can do whatever they want as a private company. If they require you to show up to the testing center in a gimp suit with an apple in your mouth like a rotisserie pig you just have to do it because it’s either that or end up a payroll clerk until the end of your days.
Not everyone is a fan of ditching the masks at Prometric. Which is understandable when you’ve spent more than a year being told that other people could literally kill you, and given the close quarters of a testing center packed with candidates.
Perhaps a compromise is in order? Let those who prefer to keep their masks on do so, and give fully vaccinated people the option to take theirs off.
Whether you’re in camp No Mask or rooting for masks to stay around for a little longer, fact remains that Prometric is just doing what it thinks is best for the health and safety of candidates, an admirable — if sometimes inconvenient — stance to take. We’ve all made so many sacrifices over the last 15 months, what’s one more? We’ll get fully back to normal eventually.