JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Fully vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing, according to guidance from federal health officials.
The recommendations also say that vaccinated people can come together in the same way — in a single household — with people considered at low-risk for severe disease, such as in the case of vaccinated grandparents visiting healthy children and grandchildren.
Here’s a breakdown of what the CDC says fully vaccinated people can do:
- Visit other fully vaccinated people indoors without a mask or while staying 6-feet apart.
- Visit unvaccinated people who are low-risk from one other household without masks or while staying 6-feet apart.
- While in public or visiting multiple households, they should wear a mask, stay 6-feet apart, avoid medium and large-sized gatherings, and follow CDC and Health Department travel requirements.
Infectious diseases experts say there’s still unanswered questions about virus transmission even after full vaccinations.
“We don’t have good studies about actual transmission. What we have are decent studies showing decreased viral load in the vaccinated person,” said Gregory Poland with Mayo Clinic. “The lower the viral load in an infected person, the less likely they transmit that to another person.”
The rate of transmission has gone down across the country, and millions of people have been vaccinated.
In Jacksonville, federal vaccination sites are seeing a low turnout of eligible people.
Dr. Mohammed Reza says the city needs to move with the demand of vaccines to safely follow CDC guidance.
“The goal right now is to get as many shots into people’s arms as possible, because we are racing against time in terms of the UK variant, which is more transmissible spreading across the state,” Reza said.
Something the CDC didn’t change is its recommendations on travel.
“The reason for it is the more individuals you come into contact with, the greater the risk of either a high viral exposure or a variant exposure,” Poland said.
The country saw high rates of travel during the holidays. About 1.19 million people passed through TSA checkpoints on Dec. 23. Experts believe this is why there was a surge of cases and deaths.