CDC relaxes COVID-19 safety measures for those who are vaccinated

The CDC is relaxing some of its COVID-19 safety measures for people who are fully vaccinated. That means it has been at least two weeks since they received their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer shots -- or their one dose from Johnson & Johnson.

"While we quickly work to vaccinate more and more people every day, we have to see this through," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC Director.

The CDC says vaccinated individuals can now: 

  • Visit with other vaccinated individuals indoors, without a mask or physical distancing  
  • Visit with unvaccinated individuals under the same circumstances WHO ARE at low risk of severe COVID-19 illness 

Meanwhile, they should continue to:

  • Wear a mask and physical distance in public OR around unvaccinated individuals WHO ARE at increased risk of severe illness
  • Continue to avoid crowds

"Take grandparents who are fully vaccinated, and have a son or daughter who has two grandkids. And all of those people, the son, the daughter-in-law, the grandkids are healthy and low risk. That interaction—hug them, spend time together, have a meal. Do that, that’s great," said Dr. Matt Anderson, UW Health.

Dr. Matt Anderson

The guidance is cause for celebration for many extended families who have been told for nearly a year now that it is not safe to get together.

Dr. Anderson cautions that the new rules come with some stipulations.

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"If you have one unvaccinated household interacting with a fully vaccinated individual or individuals. That’s fine," the doctor said. "You start adding a second unvaccinated household in there, they really want us to continue to follow all of the mask and distancing guidelines because those unvaccinated individuals could be transmitting toward each other."

People who are vaccinated also do not need to quarantine or get tested following COVID-19 exposure -- as long as they do not have symptoms.

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