Vaccinated Americans may meet indoors in small groups, says US CDC
Washington [US], The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday issued guidance to Americans fully vaccinated against Covid-19, freeing them to take some liberties include gathering indoors with others who are fully vaccinated without precautions while still adhering to wearing masks and maintaining social distancing in public spaces.
According to The New York Times, the agency offered "good news" to grandparents who have refrained from seeing children and grandchildren for the past year, saying that fully vaccinated people may visit indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household so long as no one among the unvaccinated is at risk for severe disease if infected with COVID-19.
The recommendations arrived as state officials move to reopen businesses and schools amid a drop in virus cases and deaths. Federal health officials repeatedly have warned against loosening restrictions too quickly, including lifting mask mandates, fearing that the moves may set the stage for a fourth surge of infections and deaths, the news outlet further reported.
However, the CDC did not rule out the possibility that fully vaccinated individuals might develop asymptomatic infections and spread the virus inadvertently to others, and urged those who are vaccinated to continue practicing certain precautions.
"We know that people want to get vaccinated so they can get back to doing the things they enjoy with the people they love... There are some activities that fully vaccinated people can begin to resume now in the privacy of their own homes," said Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the CDC as quoted by NYT.
She added, "Everyone, including those who are vaccinated, should continue with all mitigation strategies when in public settings." The CDC director and other officials said that more Americans will need to be fully vaccinated before mitigation measures can be suspended.
The CDC said on Monday that "a growing body of evidence" suggests that people who are fully vaccinated are less likely to have asymptomatic infections and "potentially less likely to transmit the virus that causes Covid-19 to other people."
The guidelines say that the fully vaccinated people must 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 disease.
"Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households; avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings," the guidelines added.
NYT further reported that the agency did not revise its travel recommendations, continuing to advise that all Americans avoid unless absolutely necessary.
The advice is not legally binding, but the agency's recommendations are usually followed by state public health officials. The recommendations seem likely to incentivize vaccination for many hesitant Americans by promising modest liberties after months of restrictions.
According to CDC, as many as 116,378,615 vaccine doses have been delivered across the United States and 92,089,852 doses have been administered. As of Monday, 31,285,186 people have received two doses, according to the CDC. About 60,005,231 people have recieved at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. (ANI)