New guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have good news for those who’ve received all necessary doses of their COVID-19 vaccine.
In a March 8 update, the CDC announced that those who’ve been fully vaccinated and waited two weeks after their final shot can:
- gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask; and
- gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
If a fully vaccinated person has been around someone with COVID-19, they no longer need to isolate or get tested unless they display symptoms. However, if you live with someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.
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Being fully vaccinated doesn’t prevent you from taking precautions outside of the house, however. You should continue to wear a mask, stay six feet apart from others, and avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces until more is known about the effectiveness of the vaccine.
“The recommendations issued today are just a first step,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a White House briefing.
Whether or not vaccinated people can get sick and transmit infection is a question that will shape recommendations moving forward, she said. Due to the fact that much of the virus is still unknown, vaccinated people should still wear masks in public.