With 232,407,669 COVID-19 vaccination doses administered in the United States as of press time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, updated health guidelines for fully vaccinated Americans on Tuesday.
While the guidelines included details on participating in some daily activities without wearing face coverings, the CDC noted in an update that fully vaccinated individuals should continue wearing face coverings in crowded outdoor areas and during indoor activities.
The CDC also encouraged individuals who have not been vaccinated to find a vaccine appointment. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and two weeks after a single-dose vaccine such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“If you are fully vaccinated you can start doing many things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” the update reads. “When choosing safer activities, consider how COVID-19 is spreading in your community, the number of people participating in the activity, and the location of the activity.”
Those who are fully vaccinated will be able to participate in some indoor and outdoor events without facing “much risk,” according to the update.
However, the CDC added that outdoor activities are still deemed safer than indoor activities and to choose activities based on safety factors.
In the update, the CDC said fully vaccinated individuals will now be able to engage in certain activities without wearing a face covering or social distancing.
Some activities include gathering indoors with fully vaccinated people; gathering indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household; gathering or engaging in small outdoor activities; and traveling domestically without having to self-quarantine or get tested for COVID-19.
As information on how vaccines will affect the spread of the virus continues to develop, the CDC said to remain cautious in indoor public spaces and wear a mask, social distance and avoid crowds and poorly ventilated areas.
Additionally, the updated guidelines are not for those who engage in health care settings.
Following the CDC’s update, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state will comply with the new recommendations.
“After reviewing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s masking recommendations, and with science and data as our guide, we are moving to align California’s guidance with these common-sense updates,” Newsom said in a press release.
Newsom also noted the state’s progress in controlling the spread of the virus, having administered more than 28 million vaccine doses. According to the press release, California currently has the lowest COVID-19 positivity rate in the United States.
Despite more than half of California residents who are 16 and older being partially or fully vaccinated, Newsom noted in the press release that COVID-19 variants are still a threat.
“We need to remain vigilant and continue public health prevention measures – like wearing masks when appropriate and getting vaccinated – but the light at the end of this tunnel has never been brighter,” Newsom said in the press release.