With the vaccines comes new hope for kicking COVID-19 to the curb.
As more people get vaccinated, you may be wondering – what’s safe and what’s not? New public health recommendations from the CDC* help to clear it up.
“The CDC has provided interim guidance that brings some great news for people who have been fully vaccinated in terms of being able to safely visit with others. One piece I know is welcome news to many families is that fully vaccinated grandparents can visit indoors with unvaccinated healthy grandchildren,” said Dr. Emily Godbout, epidemiologist and infectious diseases specialist. “It’s critical to note, however, that this guidance may change based on the level of community spread of SARS-CoV-2 and as more information, including on new variants, becomes available.”
What does it mean to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19?
You’re considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 ≥ 2 weeks following the SECOND dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or ≥ 2 weeks after you’ve received a single dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson).
What the new guidelines say about gathering
Fully vaccinated people DO NOT NEED TO wear masks and practice physical distancing when:
- Walking, running, wheelchair rolling, or biking outdoors with members of your household
- Attending a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated family and friends
Fully vaccinated people SHOULD wear masks and practice physical distancing when:
- Attending a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people
- Visiting a barber or hair salon
- Going to an uncrowded, indoor shopping center or museum icon
- Riding public transport with limited occupancy
- Attending a small, indoor gathering of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people from multiple households
- Going to an indoor movie theater
- Attending a full-capacity worship service
- Singing in an indoor chorus
- Eating at an indoor restaurant or bar
- Participating in an indoor, high intensity exercise class
EVERYONE, including those who are fully vaccinated, should continue to:
- Wear a mask and practice physical distancing in public
- Wash hands thoroughly and often
- Avoid medium- and large-sized gatherings
What do these vaccine-related guidelines mean for your family?
Although most kids fall into the low-risk category, it doesn’t mean there’s NO risk of catching the virus and becoming sick.
“While this is a step in the direction most people have been hoping for, it’s certainly not a free pass to return to pre-pandemic ‘normal.’ We also have to keep in mind that infants, children and teens younger than 16 will not be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine for at least another several months or longer. The infection prevention measures we’ve become accustomed to are still essential in the fight against this virus,” added Dr. Godbout.
If you have questions about your family’s risk levels, including underlying health conditions, be sure to check with your doctor before making changes to your daily routines.
These new recommendations do not apply to health care settings. Masks are still required for all patients, visitors and team members while at CHoR.
Keep up with the latest COVID-19 information for families.
*As of May 6, 2021 from the cdc.gov