‘Next big step’: CDC releases new guidelines for those fully vaccinated

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The Centers for Disease Control has released guidelines shaping a big step back to normal in our country’s fight against COVID-19.

The recommendations state how people fully vaccinated against the virus can interact with other people.

Specifically, the CDC said, fully vaccinated people can visit other fully vaccinated people without masks or social distancing.

“These new recommendations from the CDC are certainly very welcome,” said Infectious Disease Physician at Intermountain Healthcare Dr. Brandon Webb.

Utah has seen a tremendous decline in COVID-19 transmission, especially in 2021.

The 7-day average of COVID-19 cases was at 2,800 on Jan. 5, 2021, but that has since dropped to 518 on March 5, 2021. That is an 81 percent decrease.

“We are starting to see the community perception is shifting to see this is as our most important tool,” said Webb.

Webb said he sees the vaccine as a tool and said our country needs to win this race and overcome the pandemic.

“They reflect the progress we have made in terms of having access to the vaccine and having many more people vaccinated,” said Webb.

The CDC’s new guidelines, which can be found here, state that fully vaccinated people can visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing and visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.

“So what does this mean?” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. “If you and a friend or if you and a family member are both vaccinated, you can have dinner together.”

The CDC said people still need to fight this pandemic together and still need to avoid medium and large-sized gatherings.

The new interim guidelines could change, but Dr. Webb said that would be a positive sign. 

“It’s inappropriate to expect that recommendations will remain static,” said Webb. “We do not want them to remain static, we want them to reflect as our understanding increases in the latest of science.”

The new guidelines are an important first step to what activities are now deemed seemed safe for fully vaccinated people.

To be considered fully vaccinated, you have to have completed your dosage for any of the three vaccines available and have waited for at least two weeks.

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