New federal COVID-19 guidelines released on Monday say that it is okay now for fully vaccinated Americans to gather indoors with other vaccinated individuals without masks or social distancing.
With a small group of fully vaccinated Americans having grown since January, so have calls for new guidance for such people. Monday’s guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the first for fully vaccinated people.
“With more and more people vaccinated each day, we are starting to turn a corner,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky at a White House COVID-19 press briefing Monday morning, announcing the new guidance.
“The recommendations issued today are just a first step,” Walensky said. “Fully vaccinated people can visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or physical distancing.”
However, the CDC director added, it’s important for vaccinated people to “please keep wearing a well-fitting mask” in most other settings.
Along with that, the CDC is continuing to recommend that fully vaccinated individuals keep avoiding large gatherings and practicing social distancing.
Furthermore, the CDC is saying that vaccinated individuals should get tested if they notice they have symptoms possibly related to COVID-19.
Officials say a person is deemed fully vaccinated two weeks after getting the second and final dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines and two weeks after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Around 9% of Americans, which is about 30 million people, have been fully vaccinated so far with a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the federal government, according to the CDC.
Aside from it being deemed safe for fully vaccinated people to gather indoors with others who are vaccinated, the new guidelines said that such individuals can also 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” and refrain “from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic”.
On top of all that, the new guidance said that fully vaccinated grandparents can now visit their unvaccinated children and grandchildren, though with some caveats.
“Fully vaccinated grandparents can visit indoors with their unvaccinated healthy daughter and her healthy children without wearing masks or physical distancing, provided none of the unvaccinated family members are at risk of severe COVID-19,” the guidance said.
However, those kinds of no-mask interactions should only be limited to one unvaccinated household for safety reasons.
“Continuing the example from above, if fully vaccinated grandparents are visiting with their unvaccinated daughter and her children and the daughter’s unvaccinated neighbors also come over, the visit should then take place outdoors, wearing well-fitted masks, and maintaining physical distance (at least 6 feet),” the guidance added. “This is due to the risk the two unvaccinated households pose to one another.”
Although, Walensky said that the CDC has not updated its travel guidance yet.
“We would like to give the opportunity for vaccinated grandparents to visit their children and grandchildren who are healthy, and who are local, but our travel guidance currently has been unchanged,” the CDC director said Monday, emphasizing that “the travel corridor is a place where people are mixing a lot,” and that COVID-19 strains are circulating, both domestically and internationally.
“We’re hopeful that our next set of guidance will have more science around what vaccinated people can do, perhaps travel being among them,” Walensky also said.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Oklahoma passes bill banning majority of abortions from ‘moment of fertilization’
Oklahoma’s Republican Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill into law on Wednesday which bans virtually all abortions “from the moment of fertilization.”
“I promised Oklahomans that as governor I would sign every piece of pro-life legislation that came across my desk and I am proud to keep that promise today. From the moment life begins at conception is when we have a responsibility as human beings to do everything we can to protect that baby’s life and the life of the mother,” Stitt said in a statement. “That is what I believe and that is what the majority of Oklahomans believe.”
The state legislature first approved the bill, which goes into effect immediately, last week. It bans abortions from the moment of fertilization, except for in cases where rape or incest occurred, or where the mother’s life is in danger.
The law also allows for private citizens to sue doctors or those who participate in “producing an abortion for up to $10,000, mimicking the enforcement mechanism in Texas’s fetal heartbeat law” reports National Review.
Under the new law it is a felony offense to perform an abortion, “which will take effect in August unless a court challenge blocks it.”
Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed into law the most restive abortion ban in the United States. pic.twitter.com/nDjCQcG7UI
— Storme Jones (@StormeJones) May 25, 2022
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