Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published its first set of public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people. A person is considered “fully vaccinated” once 14 days have elapsed since they received the second dose of vaccine in a 2-dose series or after their receipt of the single dose of a vaccine requiring only one dose.
The following recommendations, apply to non-healthcare settings and should be applied thoughtfully in congregate living settings.
Fully vaccinated people can:
• Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask.
• Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing a mask.
We urge Deerfield residents to exercise caution when considering this recommendation. Spending time in close contact of unvaccinated people without masks increases risk for COVID-19 transmission. Your COVID-19 vaccination should protect you from severe disease, but it is possible that you could become infected with a mild or asymptomatic case and still transmit the disease to others. A growing body of evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection and potentially less likely to transmit SARS-CoV2 to others, but this research is in its infancy and further investigation is necessary.
• 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.
For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:
• Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing.
This new CDC guidance is meant to reduce restrictions for vaccinated persons when gathering within households.
• 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.
• Avoid medium and large-sized in-person gatherings.
• Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
COVID-19 tests turn around quickly these days, often within 36 hours, making isolation when symptomatic relatively brief and manageable.
• Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations.
We recognize that the great privilege of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, in many ways, reawakens or emboldens our innate desire to be past all of the inconveniences of this pandemic. We all want to emerge from the trauma of the past year and to see our lives return to “normal”.
While hope is here and forward progress is being made, please remember that the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over. Continue to avoid unnecessary risks. Stay committed or recommit to consistently and conscientiously practicing the 3Ws when appropriate. Wear a mask in public. Wait at least 6 feet apart from others and avoid crowds. Wash your hands often. Encourage others to be vaccinated when it is their turn.
Taryn Tindall, RN, on behalf of the Deerfield Leadership Team