With over 90 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered in the United States since December, and an additional 2.2 million doses given each day, many find them themselves asking what they or their loved ones, can and can’t do.
According to the newly released guidelines from the CDC, people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely visit with other vaccinated people and small groups of unvaccinated people in some circumstances, but there are still important safety precautions needed.
The CDC defines people who are fully vaccinated as those who are two weeks past their second dose of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine or two weeks past a single dose of the J&J vaccine.
People who are vaccinated are protected and there is growing evidence that they don’t spread COVID-19, but scientists are still trying to understand how long vaccine protection lasts. “The level of precautions taken should be determined by the characteristics of the unvaccinated people, who remain unprotected against Covid-19,” the guidelines said.
The CDC says fully vaccinated people can:
- Visit other vaccinated people indoors without masks or physical distancing
- Visit indoors with unvaccinated people from a single-family without masks or physical distancing, if the unvaccinated people are at low risk for severe disease.
- Skip quarantine and testing if exposed to someone who has COVID-19 but is asymptomatic, but should monitor for symptoms for 14 days
The guidelines say fully vaccinated people must:
- Wear a mask and keep a good physical distance around the unvaccinated who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19, or if the unvaccinated person has a household member who is at higher risk
- Wear masks and physically distance when visiting unvaccinated people who are from multiple households.
In addition, fully vaccinated people should continue basic safety precautions including wearing a mask and keeping physical distance in public; avoiding medium- and large-sized crowds; avoiding poorly ventilated public spaces; washing hands frequently, and getting tested for COVID-19 if they feel sick.
If fully vaccinated people live in a non-healthcare congregate setting, such as a group home detention facility, they should quarantine for 14 days and get tested if exposed to someone with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case.
The guidelines say that the risk of infection in social activities like going to the gym or restaurant is lower for the fully vaccinated, however, people should still take precautions as transmission risk in these settings is higher and increases the more unvaccinated there are there.
Read the full CDC Guideline Here