CDC: Masks Not Needed If Fully Vaccinated People Gather Indoors

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Updated: This report has been update twice since the guidelines were released.

ATLANTA – The Centers For Disease Control said today, March 8, that “fully vaccinated people can visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.”

This is the first set of public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people, issued by the federal agency.

Fully vaccinated people also can “visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.

Fully vaccinated people also are allowed to “refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic.”

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According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people should continue to:

  • Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
  • Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
  • Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
  • Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations

Currently authorized vaccines in the United States are highly effective at protecting vaccinated people against symptomatic and severe COVID-19.

Additionally, a growing body of evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection and potentially less likely to transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others.

How long vaccine protection lasts and how much vaccines protect against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants are still under investigation, said the CDC.

Until more is known and vaccination coverage increases, some prevention measures will continue to be necessary for all people, regardless of vaccination status, said the CDC.

However, the benefits of reducing social isolation and relaxing some measures such as quarantine requirements may outweigh the residual risk of fully vaccinated people becoming ill with COVID-19 or transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to others, said the CDC

Additionally, taking steps towards relaxing certain measures for vaccinated persons may help improve COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and uptake. Therefore, there are several activities that fully vaccinated people can resume now, at low risk to themselves, while being mindful of the potential risk of transmitting the virus to others, said the CDC.

CDC said it would will continue to evaluate and update public health recommendations for vaccinated people as more information, including on new variants, becomes available.

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