What the CDC recommends for fully vaccinated people-another update

Fully vaccinated people can visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.

This information is current as of the publication date; it is general medical information that helps doctors and patients make decisions about what is right for them. Medical recommendations and practice changes as we learn new things. If you deal with any of these issues , please discuss with your doctor before taking any action.

Now that many of us have been vaccinated against the coronavirus we want to know what we can safely do. We should also be wondering what is the risk of various activities, as nothing will ever be risk free.

And many state governors, including mine, are removing COVID-19 mitigation measures, including mask mandates and recommendations. So we need to stay informed so we can be “personally responsible.” (My governor’s favorite phrase.)

update April 27, 2021

The CDC has updated the guidelines and address wearing masks outdoors.

fully vaccinated people can travel domestically with pre or post testing
Here is what the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, posted on their web site as of April 27, 2021.

Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

For the purposes of this guidance, people are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19

  • ≥2 weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or We
  • ≥2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson (J&J)/Janssen ).
Dr. Aletha inspecting her arm after a COVID-19 shot
Three days after my first vaccination the soreness in my arm was almost gone, and I had no redness or swelling. After the second shot, minimal soreness. No other side effects to report. I feel fortunate. I am now fully vaccinated.

Fully vaccinated people can:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • You can gather or conduct activities outdoors without wearing a mask except in certain crowded settings and venues.
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • If you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
  • You need to pay close attention to the situation at your international destination before traveling outside the United States.

For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:

  • Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
  • 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
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations

My key points from these recommendations

  • Refrain from quarantine and testing if exposed, unless you have symptoms.
  • Interactions involving ONLY people who are fully vaccinated are low risk.
  • Interactions involving people not vaccinated have more risk.
  • Interactions with people who are at increased risk of severe disease should be approached cautiously, with safeguards fully in place.
  • Attending large group gatherings still carries significant risk to all involved.
  • Outdoor activities are very low risk, but are not 100% safe either, especially for unvaccinated people
  • Testing is still important.
  • Travel within the United States requires no pre or post testing or quarantine.
  • For international travel, you will still be required to follow the rules for the countries you are visiting upon arrival and while there.

Testing, testing, testing

Testing helps us identify cases, trace contacts, and prevent spread. With fewer cases, public health professionals can find contacts easier and sooner. Stopping spread will make the variant viruses less of a threat.

So please don’t stop seeking testing if you have symptoms; it is still important to know how many cases of COVID-19 there are. If we only know about the severe cases that required hospitalization, it will skew the statistics, and be less representative of the true extent of the pandemic.

Practice social distancing and wear a mask.

Masks-“do unto others”

I’m not here to debate the use of masks. If you’ve been wearing one, you probably should continue to do so, unless in a setting with others who you can confirm are vaccinated or immune due to natural infection.

Remember, this is a contagious infectious disease spread by direct person to person contact. It’s not just about you, we’re here for each other.

Information and misinformation

There has been much of both in the past year, some deliberate, some well intentioned, some valuable, some just plain wrong. Whenever possible, get your information directly from the source, not “a friend of a friend’s second cousin”. Here are some tips for finding reliable information

Final comments from the CDC

This is the first set of public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people. This guidance will be updated and expanded based on the level of community spread of SARS-CoV-2, the proportion of the population that is fully vaccinated, and the rapidly evolving science on COVID-19 vaccines.

CDC website

exploring the HEART of ending the pandemic

And if you found this information interesting and helpful, please share with your friends on social media and elsewhere. They and I will appreciate it.

Thanks for following this blog. If you’re visiting, I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me. I also want you to find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest , Instagram, and LinkedIn .

Dr. Aletha

National Doctors’ Day 2021- committed to ending the COVID-19 pandemic

Doctors’ Day 2020 was somber for not only U.S. doctors, but for physicians all over the world. This year we are approaching the end of the biggest medical foe any of us have ever faced- the novel coronavirus pandemic

National Doctors’ Day

Did you know there is a national day to honor physicians? In 1990, the U.S. Congress established a National Doctors’ Day, first celebrated on March 30, 1991.

The first Doctors’ Day observance was March 30, 1933, in Winder, Georgia. The idea came from a doctor’s wife, Eudora Brown Almond,  and the date was the anniversary of the first use of general anesthetic in surgery.

March 30 is Doctors' Day

Doctors’ Day 2020

Doctors’ Day 2020 was somber for not only U.S. doctors, but for physicians all over the world. Many of our offices were closed, or offering only virtual medicine.

Hospitals cancelled elective procedures. Emergency rooms enacted strict measures in order to treat the growing number of COVID-19 patients while protecting other patients.

After several weeks of fairly strict “lockdowns”, restrictions in multiple states were loosened leading to first gradual then rapid surges in cases, many severe enough to require hospital and ICU admission. And with increased infections, came increased deaths.

an electron microscope image of the coronavirus
used with permission, CDC.GOV


The new year brought a post holiday reprieve, as both cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are steadily decreasing in most parts of the United States. This year we are finally optimistic than the worst is over, that we will see the end of the toughest medical foe any of us have ever faced- the novel coronavirus pandemic.

a female physician talking to a male patient
photo from LIGHTSTOCK.COM, media site

Physicians confront a pandemic

I can’t possibly recognize all the physicians who have labored and sacrificed to prevent and treat COVID-19 infections. This is just a small sampling of ones who made the news; most of them didn’t but their role was no less vital

Paul Lynch, m.d., anesthesia/pain management

Dr. Lynch, a pain management specialist, travelled to New York City early in the pandemic to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients. He caught COVID-19, but after a severe illness, recovered, and returned home to Arizona.

Here is one of several videos he posed to his YouTube channel.

In March of 2019, the Covid-19 Pandemic hit NYC and its’ hospital system like a typhoon. I trained at Bellevue from 2003-2006 in the Anesthesiology department where among other things we managed the ICU. I made the decision to return and help during this crisis.

rebecca shadowen, m.d., Infectious Disease

In her community, Dr. Shadowen was an advocate for public health measures which were not always well received. She died after contracting a severe COVID-19 infection, having continued her advocacy even from her hospital bed.

Rosalind mitchell, m.d., Emergency medicine

Dr. Mitchell’s sister, Dr. Debby Mitchell Burton, a blogger, honored her sister with this Facebook post. Roz, as her family and friends called her, died of COVID-19 complications in January 2021.

doctor talking to a woman
photo compliments American Academy of Family Physicians

Melissa welby, m.d., psychiatrist

With her psychiatric experience, Dr. Welby offered practical advice about managing the stress of the pandemic, especially in the early days when it was all so new and unknown. Such as this post-

How to stay positive during quarantine

Despite the limitations that come with stay-at-home orders, the range of possibilities for entertaining and enjoyable distractions are vast. Although life balance is always important, it is now essential in order to maintain our mental health during and after the pandemic. Let’s have some fun while trying to stay positive during quarantine.

Dr. Melissa Welby
Female doctor looking at an xray

the kudji doctors

This mother-daughter duo made history by graduating from medical school and starting residencies at the same time.

a woman in white coat with mask over mouth

laurent duvernay-tardif, m.d.

Football player and physician don’t usually go together in the same sentence, but for Dr. Duvernay-Tardif they do.

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif refused to choose between earning his MD and playing in the NFL. Today, he’s the first active player who’s also a doctor. At this link you can

Meet the NFL Player Who May Soon Be Your Doctor

“At first I wanted to be an engineer, but after talking with some engineers, I realized there is a lot of computer work, and while I’m a man of science, at the same time I need that human interaction with people,

Medicine is one of the only professions where you get to master the science of things — anatomy, pharmacology, kinesiology — but you also have to interact and communicate with patients from many different cultural and economic backgrounds, and you really have to take into account the social context of each patient in order to come up with the best treatment options.”

Dr. Duvernay-Tardif

your physicians

The most important doctors for you to honor are the ones who helps you, your family, and your community with their health care needs. One way you can honor them is to join them in “sharing the HEART of health” where you live. Some ways you can do this (and you probably already are) include

  • donating to or volunteering at a local food bank
  • assisting with meal delivery to homebound persons
  • fostering and adopting children
  • tutoring students
  • donating to scholarship funds
  • teaching and coaching sports and other physical activities
  • supporting shelters for homeless people
  • helping people effected by natural disasters

Use the comments to tell us what you do and share the impact it has made in the lives of the people who are helped.

Some photos in this post are from the LIGHTSTOCK.COM collection, an affiliate link. Consider Lightstock for your photo and graphic needs. You will get quality media and help support the mission of this blog-to inform and inspire us all to discover the HEART of health.

exploring the HEARTS of physicians

Thanks for following this blog. If you’re visiting, I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me. I also want you to find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest , Instagram, and LinkedIn .