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COVID-19: New CDC guidance issued for those fully vaccinated

On Monday, March 8, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new guidance for those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Under the guidance, those who are fully vaccinated can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask and gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one household, like visiting with relatives who all live together, without wearing a mask, unless someone has an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Monday afternoon, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services issued the following statement: “Vaccines offer a safe and effective way to protect you from COVID and more than 1 million North Carolinians are fully vaccinated. The CDC guidance issued today offers ways for those who are fully vaccinated to safely return to certain activities. It is important to note, that people who have been vaccinated still need to wear masks when they are in public settings and around those who are not vaccinated.

“While we are seeing COVID trends moving in the right direction, cases and hospitalization numbers remain elevated, and we still have work to do. With the introduction of new variants of the COVID-19 virus that are more contagious, we need to keep protecting each other while we get everyone a spot to get their shot.”

The CDC guidance states for the fully vaccinated, “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.”

The guidance has not changed some items. For those fully vaccinated, take steps to protect yourself and others by wearing a mask, staying six feet apart and avoiding medium and large size crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. Take precautions in public, when gathering with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk of severe illness or death from the virus, and delaying domestic and international travel, while watching for symptoms.

In its guidance, the CDC says it is still learning about:

– How effective the vaccines are against variants.

– How well the COVID-19 vaccines keep people from spreading the disease.

– How long COVID-19 can protect people.

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