NATIONWIDE– Those who have been vaccinated can breathe a sigh of relief but not always through a mask.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Wednesday that people who are fully-vaccinated are allowed to attend indoor and outdoor gatherings with others who are fully vaccinated without wearing a mask or social distancing.
According to the CDC, a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or two weeks following the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.
If a person does not meet these requirements, they are not considered fully vaccinated and must continue to take necessary precautions such as wearing a mask and social distancing, the CDC noted.
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The CDC also says that those who are fully vaccinated will be able to gather with unvaccinated people from only one other household without wearing masks or social distancing. The only time when this will not be able to occur is when a person or persons are at an “increased risk for severe illness” from the virus.
“You can gather or conduct activities outdoors without wearing a mask except in certain crowded settings and venues,” the CDC noted. You can see a full list of other guidelines here.
While people that are fully vaccinated may be able to return to a somewhat normal routine, there are still some precautions that the CDC recommends that they take.
For example, people who are fully vaccinated should continue to wear a mask while in public settings and avoid gathering indoors with those who are not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated. These guidelines also apply to settings that may include children and persons who may have a compromised immune system.
According to the CDC, people who are fully vaccinated but have a health condition or are taking medication that can weaken their immune system may not be fully protected from the virus and must continue taking safety precautions.
In addition, the CDC noted that fully vaccinated people need to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 and continue to follow guidelines regarding mask use, social distancing and other measures at their workplace. You find a full list of “Do’s and Don’ts” here.
Additionally, the CDC defers to local ordinances regarding COVID-19 precautions.
On Thursday, April 22, Gov. Ralph Northam issued changes to sports and entertainment venue capacities as well as social gathering limits, all of which go into effect on Sunday, May 15.
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The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) recommends that residents continue to take steps to stop the spread of the virus as well as the COVID-19 variants.
“With the threat of new COVID-19 variants spreading, it is important now more than ever to wear a mask correctly, stay at least six feet from others, avoid crowds, wash your hands often, and get vaccinated for COVID-19,” stated VDH. “These steps will help to stop the spread of all COVID-19 variants. The best way to stop variants from developing in the first place is to stop the spread of the virus.”
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