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CDC: It's safe for vaccinated people to gather without masks

New CDC guidance released for vaccinated people
Posted at 7:08 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 20:08:34-05

OMAHA, Neb. — The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released their highly anticipated new guidelines for those who have received their COVID-19 vaccines. Some dearly missed interactions, like hugging, are now deemed safe between two vaccinated individuals.

According to the CDC, those that have been vaccinated can:

  • Gather indoors with others who are fully vaccinated without masks
  • Have small gatherings with low-risk unvaccinated individuals without masks
  • Opt out of COVID-19 testing and quarantine if they don't experience any symptoms

"I'm hoping that it's actually an incentive for folks that are sitting on the fence with regard to whether they want to get vaccinated and it will help convince them that indeed it's a really good deal," Nebraska Medicine's Chief of Division of Infectious Diseases Dr. Mark Rupp said.

The CDC does, however, still recommend that even those who are fully vaccinated still wear their masks in public, avoid large gatherings and follow rules put in place by businesses and workplaces.

Governor Pete Ricketts said to stay tuned if these new guidelines will affect the state's stance on COVID-19 prevention, although there haven't been any state-wide indoor gathering restrictions for months.

"I don't have any specifics I can give you right now on that, but we certainly watch all the things the CDC is doing and update our guidance as well," Gov. Ricketts said.

Dr. Rupp said it's important to remember that it takes time to reach full immunity after getting a vaccine.

"Well the vaccine does start to kick in after the first dose, but it doesn't reach it's full potency until about two weeks after that second dose," he said.

Waiting two weeks after the second dose or two weeks after the one Johnson & Johnson shot before diving into some of these new, allowed activities is encouraged.

The new guidance is specific to small, at-home activities and the CDC warns that large, crowded gatherings are still unsafe.

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