Another month into 2021, another set of CDC rules. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced some new guidance on Monday concerning COVID-19 vaccinated people, saying that they can now gather without wearing masks indoors.
According to the new guidelines reported by CNBC, "People who are fully immunized can safely visit other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing" and that vaccinated people can also visit some unvaccinated people without the need for masks or social distancing.
The new CDC guidance was released to address the growing demand for more freedom to move around in public spaces and gather with their families, most of which they haven't physically seen in a year due to COVID-19 social distancing and quarantine safety measures. As per CBN News, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement, "We know that people want to get vaccinated so they can get back to doing the things they enjoy with the people they love."
This week, the CDC seemed to backtrack on last month's guidelines that ordered vaccinated people to continue wearing masks, social distancing, avoiding crowds, and avoid poorly ventilated spaces - as if the vaccine doesn't work at all. It's with noting that the previous guidelines were released less than a month ago.
Now, these guidelines are only being applied to vaccinated people when they are in public areas. Dr. Walensky said in a statement, "There are some activities that fully vaccinated people can begin to resume now in the privacy of their own homes. Everyone-even those who are vaccinated-should continue with all mitigation strategies when in public settings."
The new CDC guidelines released Monday indicate that fully vaccinated people may now visit other fully vaccinated people and some unvaccinated people indoors, without the need to wear masks or social distancing. Fully vaccinated people are now also allowed to visit unvaccinated people from a single household without the need for wearing face masks or social distancing, as long as they are "at low risk for severe disease."
However, CDC continues to warn fully vaccinated people to take some precautions especially if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19. While fully vaccinated people need not have to quarantine or get tested for the virus if they're not showing symptoms, they must do so if they are beginning to feel COVID-19 symptoms and immediately isolate themselves. Additionally, vaccinated people must also avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings and continue to wear face masks and observe social distancing in public areas.
Basically, fully vaccinated people are still advised to observe the same protocols as those recommended for non-vaccinated people, but are given more freedom not to be too strict about it.
Note that "fully vaccinated people" refers to those who have gotten either a single shot of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine or those who got their second shot of Moderna's or Pfizer's two-dose vaccines, two weeks ago.
The United States continues to ramp up its vaccination process, with about 58.9 million people already halfway through with the two-shot doses and about 30.7 million who have already received both doses, making up for about 9% of the total population.