The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced fully vaccinated people can gather indoors without masks, in some cases even with people who are unvaccinated, marking an encouraging milestone in the COVID-19 recovery.
The CDC reports that all vaccines currently authorized for emergency use are “highly effective” at protecting against severe COVID-19, and recent studies suggest that fully vaccinated people are less likely to transmit the virus to others. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-dose series or two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine.
Humboldt County Public Health Director Michele Stephens sees the recommendations as a hopeful sign that the county and the country are moving further toward recovery. “We have all worked so hard and sacrificed so much to get here, and our community has done incredibly well in its response to this unprecedented global pandemic,” she said. “These recommendations give us hope that grandparents can embrace their grandkids again, that we can hug our friends again, that we can enjoy life’s small celebrations together again.”
While some prevention measures will continue to be necessary, the CDC says fully vaccinated individuals can resume several relatively low-risk activities, including gathering with friends and loved ones. The recommendations state that fully vaccinated people can:
- Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- 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
- Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic.
For now, CDC recommends fully vaccinated people continue to:
- Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
- Wear a mask, 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, or when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
- Unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease include:
- Avoid medium and large in-person gatherings
- Follow guidance issued by individual employers
- Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
Read the recommendations in full:
Although the federal government has forecast a significant increase in vaccine production over the next several weeks, local vaccine distribution remains limited by inadequate supply. Humboldt County Public Health uses every dose of vaccine it’s allocated by the state on a weekly basis and will continue to expand vaccination clinics as supply allows. At this time, the best way for individuals to be notified of vaccine appointments for their age group is to fill out the online COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form.
For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or during business hours by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 707-441-5000.
Local COVID-19 vaccine information: humboldtgov.org/VaccineInfo
Humboldt County COVID-19 Data Dashboard: humboldtgov.org/Dashboard
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Humboldt Health Alert: humboldtgov.org/HumboldtHealthAlert