CDC Updates Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

Author imageStacey Tavarez
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News from the CDC this week provides an updated set of guiding principles for fully vaccinated people. 

Like it the old fashioned way?

Can it be true? Is the end of the COVID-19 pandemic finally in sight? Maybe. At the very least, it is for fully vaccinated people. 

News from the CDC this week provides an updated set of guiding principles for fully vaccinated people. The most profound change loosens the recommendations around maskwearing in certain situations for fully vaccinated individuals. 

Other changes include:

  • Clarification that fully vaccinated workers no longer need to be restricted from work following an exposure, as long as they remain asymptomatic. 

  • Fully vaccinated residents of non-healthcare congregate settings, such as schools, prisons, and homeless shelters, no longer need to quarantine following a known exposure. 

  • Fully vaccinated people may travel domestically or internationally (unless restricted by the destination country) without testing or self-quarantining before or after travel. 

The CDC considers you fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the 2-dose series (Moderna or Pfizer) or one dose of the single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson). 

What are the new mask recommendations?

In non-healthcare settings, fully vaccinated people can:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.

  • Visit with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing. 

  • Go walking, running, hiking, or biking outdoors alone or with members of their household 

  • Attend small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated family and friends 

  • Attend small outdoor gatherings with a mixture of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people 

  • Dine at outdoor restaurants with friends from multiple households. 

According to this CDC infographic, masks are still required (regardless of vaccine status) to: 

  • Attend a crowded, outdoor event, like a live performance, parade, or sports event 

  • Visit a barber or hair salon. 

  • Attend a full-capacity worship service. 

  • Eat at an indoor restaurant or bar. 

Please note, these recommendations do not override local ordinances. Your city, town, or state may still have mandatory mask rules in place for all individuals. If that’s the case, you must continue to wear a mask as ordered.  

In healthcare settings:

  • Healthcare workers must continue to wear a mask while interacting with patients, regardless of the vaccination status. 

  • In break rooms, offices, and meeting rooms (without patients present), fully vaccinated healthcare workers can dine, meet, and socialize with their fully vaccinated co-workers without a mask or social distancing. However, if just one co-worker is unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated, everyone should wear a mask and keep a social distance. 

  • In residential healthcare settings, fully vaccinated residents may participate in group activities and communal dining without a mask. But again, if just one resident is not fully vaccinated, all residents should wear a mask and practice social distancing. 

What changed regarding work restrictions following an exposure?  

  • Following an exposure, fully vaccinated healthcare workers (who remain asymptomatic) no longer need to follow a 14-day work restriction. 

What hasn’t changed?

At this time, only about one-third of all Americans can claim full vaccination status. That means guidelines for the majority of unvaccinated individuals remain unchanged. In addition:  

  • Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should be tested for the virus immediately. 

  • Recommendations on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by healthcare workers remain unchanged. 

  • Masks are still required when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people who are at risk for severe COVID-19 disease.

Have you seen our COVID-19 course?

Our course, Battling COVID-19 in 2021, has been updated to reflect this new guidance from the CDC.  

Current eLearning subscribers should log in to your portal HERE. Search your catalog for Battling COVID-19 in 2021. Assign the topic to your entire team. 

Not an e-learning subscriber yet? Fill out the form HERE to view the free course. 

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