CONNECTICUT (WTNH) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday that those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can gather without masks. So what does that mean as we all enter different stages of vaccination?
The CDC said in its new recommendations, if you are fully vaccinated can can gather:
- Indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
- Indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives like grandparents who all live together) without masks unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms. However, if you live in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.
Infectious disease doctor Manisha Juthani of Yale Medicine said Monday, “Grandparents who are fully vaccinated could socialize with their children and grandchildren in another household who all live together.”
She added, “Vaccinated people socializing with other vaccinated people, in general, is going to be a low-risk activity.” But she said, “If you are an immuno-compromised person, my advice would be to wait to take that step until you are fully vaccinated yourself…When there is a lot of virus circulating, you may still have a higher risk of getting COVID-19 than somebody else who has a completely intact immune system.”
Chris Lane got vaccinated this weekend at the vaccine clinic set up for educators at the Xfinity Theater. He said he did it so he could safely see his extended family.
“That way I don’t have to worry about it; I can get to see my grandmother this year.”
The CDC said go right ahead, as long as the older, more vulnerable age family members have been fully vaccinated.
The CDC also said you should still take precautions – like wearing well-fitted masks and social distancing – when you are in public or at work, at a gathering with unvaccinated people from outside your household or visiting anyone who is unvaccinated and at risk of severe illness or death from COVID.
The organization also recommends avoidance of medium or large-sized gatherings and delaying domestic or international travel if possible.
A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine, otherwise, you run the risk of getting the virus.
“I know of instances where people have gotten COVID-19 in between the first and second shot,” Dr. Juthani said.
If you are fully vaccinated and are exposed to somebody with COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine or test for COVID-19 unless you develop any sort of symptoms. But CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky warned, you still need to social distance and mask in public.
“Everyone, whether vaccinated or not, should continue to avoid medium and large size gatherings, as well as non-essential travel, and when in public spaces, should continue to wear a well-fitted mask.”
As of Monday, the state has administered 1.1 million doses of the vaccine, and a quarter of the Connecticut population over the age of 16 has had at least their first dose. Across the country, only about nine percent of the population is currently vaccinated.