CDC Releases Guide for Vaccinated Americans


The agency offered good news to grandparents who have refrained from seeing children and grandchildren for the past year, saying that 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 the coronavirus. As cases and deaths decline nationwide, some state officials are rushing to reopen businesses and schools. Though federal health officials have repeatedly warned against loosening restrictions too quickly, fearing that the moves may set the stage for a fourth surge of infections and deaths, Wyoming’s governor said on Monday he would lift the state’s mask mandate, a move made by the governors of Texas and Mississippi in recent days.

In practice, that means fully vaccinated grandparents may visit unvaccinated healthy adult children and healthy grandchildren of the same household without masks or physical distancing. But the visit should be local — the agency still does not recommend travel for any American, vaccinated or not. The new recommendations from the C.D.C. are intended to nudge Americans onto a more cautious path with clear boundaries for safe behavior, while acknowledging that most of the country remains vulnerable and many scientific questions remain unanswered.

The new advice is couched in caveats and leaves room for amendments as new data become available. The guidance is a “first step,” Dr. Walensky said. “It is not our final destination.” But, she added, “While we work to quickly vaccinate people more and more each day, we have to see this through.”

The U.S. is averaging about 58,700 new confirmed cases daily, according to a New York Times database, plateauing at a level near the peaks reported last summer. “With more and more people getting vaccinated, each day we are starting to turn a corner, and as more Americans are vaccinated, a growing body of evidence now tells us that there are some activities that fully vaccinated people can resume at low risk to themselves,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the C.D.C. director, said at a White House news conference on Monday.

Updated  The agency 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.

About half of all adults are anxious about re-entering normal life, including 44 percent of those who have been fully vaccinated, Dr. Wright said, citing soon-to-be published research from the American Psychological Association. March 20, 2021, 1:42 p.m. ET The new guidelines provide much-needed advice to individuals who remain reluctant to resume in-person, face-to-face interactions even after being vaccinated, said Vaile Wright, senior director for health care innovation at the American Psychological Association.

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