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CDC releases highly anticipated guidance for people fully vaccinated against Covid-19

New guidelines from the US Centers for Diseas...

Posted: Mar 8, 2021 11:50 AM
Updated: Mar 8, 2021 2:45 PM

New guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say people 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.

'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,' CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at the White House briefing Monday. '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.'

'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.'

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 vaccines or two weeks past a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. There is growing evidence that people who are vaccinated 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 new CDC guidance says fully vaccinated people can:

  • Visit other vaccinated people indoors without masks or physical distancing

  • Visit indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household 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 are asymptomatic, but should monitor for symptoms for 14 days

This means that vaccinated grandparents may finally feel comfortable visiting their unvaccinated grandchildren and giving them a big hug, especially if they're local -- the CDC still says people should avoid travel -- and as long as none of the unvaccinated people in that household are at risk for severe Covid-19.

And if you and a friend are both vaccinated, you can finally have dinner together.

However, people who are fully vaccinated still need to take precautions in many scenarios. The guidelines say fully vaccinated people must:

  • Wear a mask and keep 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 that fits well 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.

So, the vaccinated can't yet throw a big end-of-the-pandemic party or hang out over cocktails at a crowded bar.

Keep wearing that mask at the grocery store and if your neighborhood holds an in-person meeting, don't go hugging those you haven't seen in a while.

If fully vaccinated people live in a non-health care congregate setting, such as a group home or 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 people are involved. So wear that mask on the treadmill, and if dining out, keep it on while waiting for your meal

No change to CDC travel guidance

In the new guidance, the CDC notes its travel recommendations have not changed: The CDC says people should delay travel and stay home.

Walensky said CDC travel guidelines will remain the same for the vaccinated until there is more data about how much or how little vaccinated people can transmit the virus to others. She added that a 'larger swath' of the population will also need to be vaccinated before it's really safe.

About 90% of the country is still not vaccinated, Walensky said. Travel brings too much exposure to crowds and the spread of variants is also a real concern.

'Every time there's a surge in travel, we have a surge of cases in this country,' Walensky said.

'We're hopeful that our next set of guidance, will have more science around what vaccinated people can do, perhaps travel being among them.'

Jeff Zients, the White House coronavirus coordinator, said he hopes the country sees the announcement of new guidelines as a 'hopeful day.'

'We are here in no small measure because of the safety protection that many, many Americans have taken with regard to their family, friends and neighbors,' Zients said. 'We ask people to continue to do that so we can get there, as quickly and as permanently as possible.'

There are now 30 million people in the United States who are fully vaccinated, but the United States still averaged more than 60,000 cases per day over the last seven days, according to Johns Hopkins University.

'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,' Walensky said Monday. '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.'

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 709455

Reported Deaths: 13234
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion967001722
Lake51824946
Allen39279673
Hamilton34580406
St. Joseph34207541
Elkhart27376432
Vanderburgh22091394
Tippecanoe21886212
Porter17952299
Johnson17556374
Hendricks16837310
Clark12705190
Madison12358337
Vigo12226244
Monroe11484166
LaPorte11175204
Delaware10374184
Howard9677211
Kosciusko9152114
Hancock8000139
Bartholomew7896155
Warrick7698155
Floyd7567176
Wayne6910198
Grant6852171
Boone6562100
Morgan6404138
Dubois6086117
Marshall5792109
Dearborn570776
Cass5689102
Henry5582101
Noble542683
Jackson493970
Shelby479895
Lawrence4347118
Gibson429089
Harrison428970
Clinton420253
Montgomery418386
DeKalb412184
Whitley381439
Huntington380180
Miami373265
Knox367089
Steuben366657
Putnam353360
Jasper351346
Wabash347878
Adams338153
Ripley334968
Jefferson313280
White308554
Daviess289699
Wells286681
Decatur279192
Fayette277362
Greene270785
Posey269133
Scott261553
LaGrange254270
Clay253545
Randolph235880
Washington231131
Spencer228031
Jennings225147
Fountain208945
Sullivan207942
Starke205452
Owen192656
Fulton192140
Jay186429
Carroll186120
Perry181036
Orange178053
Rush170824
Vermillion166143
Franklin165635
Tipton161043
Parke144616
Blackford133931
Pike130334
Pulaski114045
Newton104234
Brown100740
Crawford97914
Benton97113
Martin82915
Warren80115
Switzerland7698
Union70110
Ohio56011
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COVID-19 Important links and resources

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