The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidance for people who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This long-awaited guidance loosens the CDC’s recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals, allowing them to stop wearing a mask in most settings. In addition, the agency says that those who are fully vaccinated can safely resume activities they had participated in pre-pandemic.
CDC Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals
According to the agency, people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose vaccine series, like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. They are also considered fully vaccinated two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The most notable update from the CDC’s new recommendations is that those who are fully vaccinated can resume indoor and outdoor activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
Fully vaccinated individuals can gather or conduct activities outdoors without wearing a mask except in certain crowded settings and venues. Fully vaccinated people can participate in the following outdoor activities without a mask:
- Walking, running or biking outdoors with members of the same household
- Attending a small, outdoor gathering with both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals
- Dining at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households
Also, fully vaccinated people can participate in the following specific indoor activities without a mask:
- Attending an indoor gathering with fully vaccinated people
- Attending an indoor gathering with unvaccinated people of any age from one other household, unless any of those people or someone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19
However, fully vaccinated people are recommended to wear a mask when:
- Entering indoor, public settings
- Attending an indoor gathering with unvaccinated people (including children) from more than one other household
- Attending an indoor gathering with an unvaccinated person who is at increased risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19, or who lives with a person at increased risk
In addition, this new CDC guidance says fully vaccinated people can:
- Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel, or self-quarantine after travel
- Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
- Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
- Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
- Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible
For now, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people continue to get tested if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
CDC Guidance for Unvaccinated Individuals
According to the CDC, unvaccinated people should continue to take preventive steps, such as wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. However, according to the agency, it’s safe for those unvaccinated people to walk, run or bike outdoors with members of their household without wearing a mask. In addition, the agency says it is safe to take off the mask when attending a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated family and friends.
Next Steps & Workplace Vaccinations
As the CDC learns more, it will continue to update its recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated people. To learn more, the agency offers resources for choosing safer activities for both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
With companies returning to the physical office in the coming months, a smooth and safe transition for your employees is important to us here at MBL. We are keeping up with which vendors are offering workplace COVID-19 vaccinations. Currently, all COVID-19 vaccinations available in the US have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19. Vaccination is one of our many tools to help stop the pandemic and keep employees and customers safe.
Rite Aid is offering in-office vaccination events for employers, free of charge. Below are requirements for an onsite vaccination clinic.
- A vaccination event requires 50+ participants. If this quota is not met, Rite Aid may cancel the event.
- A sign-up list of participants and a final headcount is needed 72 business hours prior to the event. Sign ups must be cut off by then, unless it is to complete a vial of vaccine.
- Rite Aid is allocated all 3 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, J&J) however they cannot promise a certain brand. They will supply the vaccine of which they have surplus of. If Pfizer or Moderna are used, Rite Aid will automatically schedule a second dose clinic for 21 or 28 days later. If an employee missed dose 2, they are responsible for finding a vaccination site.
- No staffing fees, the vaccine is completely free
- A designated area is advised for the 15-minute wait period after vaccination
- Participants will be required to provide:
- A completed consent form
- Copies of a government issued photo ID
- Copy of insurance
For questions or to determine if your organization is eligible for a vaccination clinic, email MBL wellness Coordinator, Cristina Guerra at firstname.lastname@example.org.