New guidance released from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on Monday lessens restrictions for people who have been fully vaccinated.
The guidance states that fully vaccinated people can visit other fully vaccinated people indoors without masks or physical distancing. Fully vaccinated people can also visit with unvaccinated but low-risk people from a single household indoors without masks or physical distancing.
People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they’ve received their second consecutive dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after their single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
However, the CDC said fully vaccinated people should still practice physical distancing and mask-wearing in public spaces, as well as avoid travel and medium-to-large sized gatherings. Additionally, the less restrictive guidance only applies to non-healthcare settings.
Since fully vaccinated people are significantly less likely to contract or transmit COVID-19, precautions when visiting others should be determined by the risk of the ones they are visiting. If visiting someone who is at high risk for severe symptoms from COVID-19, for example, masks should still be worn, both parties should remain physically distanced and the visit should take place outside if possible.
Studies suggest that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have an asymptomatic infection, so people who are fully vaccinated only need to get tested after exposure to COVID-19 if they are experiencing symptoms. They also don’t need to quarantine if they are not experiencing symptoms, unless they are a resident of a congregate setting, such as a correctional facility or a group home.
If a fully vaccinated person is exposed and showing symptoms of COVID-19, they should still get tested and quarantine.
San Luis Obispo County Public Health will release more information on the new guidance in the coming days, according to spokesperson Michelle Shoresman.