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.
In the White House Rose Garden, within a mask, President Biden announced updated guidelines from the CDC, based on ongoing studies of vaccinated persons.
update May 13, 2021
Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance
Fully vaccinated people can refrain from testing following a known exposure unless they are residents or employees of a correctional or detention facility or a homeless shelter
Here is what the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, posted on their web site as of May 13, 2021.
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 ).
Fully vaccinated people can:
- Resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance
- Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
- Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
- Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
- Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
- Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
- Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations
For now, masks are still required for everyone on public transportation, until those policies are updated.
For now, you will likely be required to wear a mask in hospitals, clinics, medical offices, and other facilities that provide direct healthcare.
We don’t have enough data on vaccine protection in people who are immunocompromised. People with immunocompromising conditions, including those taking immunosuppressive medications (for instance drugs, such as mycophenolate and rituximab, to suppress rejection of transplanted organs or to treat rheumatologic conditions), should discuss the need for personal protective measures with their healthcare provider after vaccination.
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.
Masks and Vaccines -“do unto others”
I’m not here to debate the use of masks. If you are not yet vaccinated, you should continue to do so. Better yet, just get vaccinated; it’s available and easy to get. Just click on this link
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
In this time of social distancing, the digital world can be a valuable source of connection if used responsibly. Thank you for joining me .
Final comments from the CDC
CDC will continue to evaluate and update public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people as more information, including on new variants, becomes available. Further information on evidence and considerations related to these recommendations is available in the Science Brief.CDC website
exploring the HEART of ending the pandemic
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