The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today that Americans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can gather in small numbers indoors, The New York Times reports.
Other precautions, including social distancing and masking, are still in effect in public spaces.
"Fully vaccinated" means that at least two weeks have elapsed since a given person has received their second Pfizer or Moderna shot, or a single dose of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
In effect, as the Times points out, fully vaccinated grandparents are now able to visit their unvaccinated families without having to mask up or socially distance.
"There are some activities that fully vaccinated people can begin to resume now in the privacy of their own homes," CDC director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement, as quoted by The Wall Street Journal. "Everyone — even those who are vaccinated — should continue with all mitigation strategies when in public settings."
The recommendation did come flush with caveats and asterisks. For instance, the CDC noted that we still don't know for sure if those who are fully vaccinated are no longer at risk of spreading the virus unknowingly and without showing any symptoms. New discoveries in that area could change the guidelines.
"We know that people want to get vaccinated so they can get back to doing the things they enjoy with the people they love," Walensky said.
To date, almost 60 million Americans have received at least one dose, while roughly half of those have been fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.
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