POLITICS

CDC: Vaccinated People Can Safely Gather Indoors Without Masks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidelines that allow fully vaccinated people to gather indoors with each other without masks.

This guidance is limited, however, and suggests what is safe for people to do in private in detail.

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On Monday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said:

“If you and a friend, or you and a family member are both vaccinated, you can have dinner together without wearing masks or without distancing.”

Moreover, a vaccinated individual can pay a visit to an unvaccinated person in a single household, without protections.

The CDC explained that people are “fully vaccinated”  two weeks after they had received the final dose of their vaccine regimen.

In the case of vaccines developed by Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech group, that means the second of two shots. For the recently authorized Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it means two weeks after the only injection.

The CDC also suggests that vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine or get tested if they come into contact with someone with COVID-19 and do not develop symptoms.

Walensky explained that only a small percentage of the public has been vaccinated, so we need to take precautions in public or around people who are vulnerable to severe illness.

She added:

“While the new guidance is a positive step, many more people need to be fully vaccinated before everyone can stop taking most COVID-19 precautions. It is important that, until then, everyone continues to adhere to important mitigation measures to protect the large number of people who remain unvaccinated.”

Public health officials have also advised people not to become complacent about COVID-19. Even though the numbers of infected people have been on the decline, they are still extremely high even as states have started rolling back restrictions, including mask mandates and capacity limits.

Only about 9 percent of the public has been fully vaccinated, but it is expected that this number will rise fast.

The U.S. is administering about 2 million shots on a daily basis, and supplies will increase in the coming months.

President Biden stated that by the end of May, there will be enough shots for every American interested in getting one.

According to Walensky, there is a “small risk” that vaccinated people could become infected with milder or asymptomatic disease, and potentially transmit the virus to other unvaccinated people.

She also noted that the agency’s travel recommendations have not changed, for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated:

“We would like to give the opportunity for vaccinated grandparents to visit their children and grandchildren who are healthy, and who are local, but our travel guidance currently has been unchanged.”

The guidelines still maintain that with high case numbers, the CDC recommends that people do not travel at this time.

“Every time there’s a surge in travel, we have a surge in cases in this country,” Walensky said.

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Source: www.nytimes.com

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