AMERICANS fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can now gather with other fully vaccinated individuals indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing, according to new guidelines set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer or Moderna) or two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson and Janssen).
“As more Americans are vaccinated, a growing body of evidence now tells us that there are some activities fully vaccinated people can do,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at the White House briefing on Monday, March 8.
The new CDC public health recommendations said fully vaccinated people can:
• Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or staying six feet apart;
• Visit with unvaccinated people from one other household indoors without wearing masks or staying six feet apart if everyone in the other household is at low risk for severe disease;
• Refrain from quarantine and testing if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 after contact with someone who has COVID-19.
This means fully vaccinated grandparents can now gather with their unvaccinated grandchildren indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing, provided none of the unvaccinated family members are at risk of severe COVID-19.
“COVID-19 continues to exert a tremendous toll on our nation. Like you, I want to be able to return to everyday activities and engage with our friends, families, and communities.
Science, and the protection of public health must guide us as we begin to resume these activities. Today’s action represents an important first step. It is not our final destination,” said Walensky.
“As more people get vaccinated, levels of COVID-19 infection decline in communities, and as our understanding of COVID immunity improves, we look forward to updating these recommendations to the public,” she added.
However, the CDC maintained that fully vaccinated people should wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households. They should also continue to wear masks and social distance in public settings and avoid medium-sized to large gatherings.
On traveling, the CDC has yet to change its recommendations, urging people to delay travel and stay home.
While 30 million people in the U.S. have received their vaccines, the country still averaged more than 60,000 cases per day over the last seven days, as reported by Johns Hopkins University.
“I want to stress that we continue to have high levels of virus around the country, and more readily transmissible variants have now been confirmed in nearly every state, while we work to quickly vaccinate people more and more each day, we have to see this through,” said Walensky.
She stressed, “Let’s stick together. Please keep wearing a well-fitting mask and taking the other public health actions we know work to help stop the spread of this virus.”