The newest CDC guidance greatly reduces situations that require use of masks, distancing, and testing but has raised many questions. Here's help to answer the ones your patients may ask.
On May 13, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People. This newest guidance relaxes almost universally the requirements for use of masks and physical distancing for people who have received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or have received the single-shot J&J vaccine.
The rapid shift in precautions at the federal level has caught many states off guard and chances are many of your patients are going to have questions.
To help you guide them through the confusion (and the controversy) we have summarized the recommendations for you in the following at-a-glance series of slides.
What Activities Can Patients Resume Once They Are Fully Vaccinated? 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. Domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
Which Outdoor Activities Can Fully Vaccinated Patients Resume Without Needing to Take Preventative Measures? The following outdoor activities are safe for fully vaccinated persons to resume without wearing a mask or physically distancing: Walk, run, wheelchair roll, or bike outdoors with members of their household. Attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated family/friends. Attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated AND unvaccinated people. Dine at an outdoor restaurant with people from multiple households. Attend a crowded, outdoor event (eg, live performance, parade, sports event).
And, What About Indoor Activities For Persons who are Fully Vaccinated? It is safe for fully vaccinated persons to resume the following indoor activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing: Going to an uncrowded, indoor shopping center or museum. Attending a small, indoor gathering of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people from multiple households. Eating at an indoor restaurant or bar. Participating in an indoor, high intensity exercise class.
Recommendations for Isolation, Quarantine, Testing: Fully Vaccinated People with COVID-19 Symptoms. Fully vaccinated individuals who experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should quarantine themselves, be clinically evaluated for COVID-19, and tested for SARS-CoV-2 (if indicated). Symptomatic fully vaccinated persons should inform their health care provider of their vaccination status at the time of presentation to care.
Recommendations for Isolation, Quarantine, Testing: Fully Vaccinated People with no COVID-19-like Symptoms Following Exposure to Someone with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19. Most fully vaccinated people with no COVID-19-like symptoms do not need to quarantine, be restricted from work, or be tested following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, as their risk of infection is low. BUT: They should still monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure.
Recommendations for Isolation, Quarantine, Testing: Fully Vaccinated People with no COVID-19-like Symptoms Following Exposure to Someone with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19. Exceptions where testing—not quarantine—is still recommended after exposure: For fully vaccinated residents and employees of correctional/detention facilities and homeless shelters.
Recommendations for Isolation, Quarantine, Testing: Fully Vaccinated People with no COVID-19-like Symptoms and No Known Exposure to Someone with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19. Fully vaccinated people with no COVID-19-like symptoms and no known exposure should be exempt from routine screening testing programs, if feasible.
Travel Recommendations. All travelers—regardless of vaccination status—are required to wear a mask on all forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the US and in US transportation hubs (eg, airports, stations).
Travel Recommendations: Domestic Travel. Fully vaccinated travelers DO NOT need a SARS-CoV-2 viral test before or after domestic travel, unless required by local, state, or territorial health authorities. Fully vaccinated travelers DO NOT need to self-quarantine following domestic travel
Travel Recommendations: International Travel. Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to get tested before leaving US unless required by their destination. Fully vaccinated air travelers coming to the US from abroad, including US citizens, are still required to have a negative SARS-CoV-2 viral test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the US. It is still recommended that international travelers arriving in the US get a SARS-CoV-2 viral test 3-5 days after travel regardless of vaccination status. Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to self-quarantine in the US following international travel.