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CDC: Fully vaccinated people can travel again, should still take precautions

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Fully vaccinated people can safely travel domestically and abroad again, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced in new guidance on Friday.

“Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19,” the guidance said.

At a Friday briefing, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky emphasized that the agency still urges that “all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, should continue to wear masks on planes buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation, while traveling.”

Those traveling within the United States, according to the CDC, don’t need to get a COVID-19 test before or self-quarantine after a trip.

Regarding overseas travel, fully vaccinated people don’t need a test beforehand unless their destination country requires it and don’t have to self-quarantine upon returning to the U.S.

Walensky on Friday also cautioned that fully vaccinated individuals who are traveling abroad should still get tested three to five days after returning the U.S.

The agency deems someone fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the final required dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The new guidance, it should be noted, does not apply to unvaccinated individuals. For those not fully vaccinated, the CDC urges them to keep refraining from travel.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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College to begin offering abortion pill on campus

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Barnard College, a partner campus of Columbia University, will be rolling out a plan in May that involves supplying students with abortion pills, the Columbia Spectator reported. The plan to provide the abortion service in the form of mifepristone abortion pills to students was initially announced in the fall of 2022 after the overturning of Roe. V Wade, according to the Spectator. However, the rollout’s delay has been partially attributed to an August 2023 grant the college received, which allowed Barnard to join a large network of primary care providers that will help steer the college through the procedures.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reports Barnard’s Primary Care Health Service will host student focus groups in upcoming weeks to find out student perspectives about the service and to identify new ways to support students considering abortion. “We wanted to make sure that we’re addressing this from every angle that will be supportive of students,” Sarah Ann Anderson-Burnett, director of Medical Services and Quality Improvement of Barnard, told the Spectator. Anderson-Burnett also said it has expanded the availability of its abortion providers to after-hours and year-round.

Barnard has six medical professionals, including two physicians and four nurse practitioners, who are capable of performing the procedure, Mariana Catallozzi, vice president for Health and Wellness and chief health officer of Barnard, told the Spectator. The school also launched a partnership with AccessNurse, a medical call center that will assist with patient concerns related to abortions.

“The training doesn’t end with the clinicians,” Anderson-Burnett told the Spectator. “Clinicians are trained on the actual provision, but there’s also an overall training that will be provided to key partners and stakeholders across the campus because we want every step, every touchpoint, to be supportive and to be trauma-informed and to be patient-valued and centered but also respect confidentiality and privacy.”

The University of Massachusetts Amherst spent more than $650,000 to stock abortion pills in March 2023 at the request of Democratic Maryland Gov. Maura Healey. Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill in May 2023 forcing college in the state to stock abortion pills on campus.

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