CDC Announces Fully-Vaccinated People Can Gather Without Masks In ‘First Step’ Toward Restoring Normalcy

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Don’t look now, but it appears we are finally turning a corner on a full year of existential dread and physical and mental anguish.

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing.

The guidance also says that vaccinated people can come together (in a single household) with other people considered at low-risk for severe disease, a welcomed nugget for grandparents who’ve been kept from their grandchildren for a full year.

During a press conference on Monday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky called the announcement a “first step” toward restoring normalcy and more activities would be recommended for vaccinated citizens as caseloads and deaths decline, according to AP.

The CDC is continuing to recommend that fully vaccinated people still wear well-fitted masks, avoid large gatherings, and physically distance themselves from others when out in public. The CDC also advised vaccinated people to get tested if they develop symptoms that could be related to COVID-19.

Officials say a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine. About 31 million Americans — or only about 9% of the U.S. population — have been fully vaccinated with a federally authorized COVID-19 vaccine so far, according to the CDC.

The announcement comes mere days after Dr. Fauci warned the public that another spike is possible as states loosen restrictions and variants spread.

“We’ve just now recently experienced the worst surge,” Dr. Fauci said Friday during a White House coronavirus briefing, adding that the country had plateaued at between 60,000 and 70,000 new cases per day. “When you have that much of viral activity in a plateau, it almost invariably means that you are at risk for another spike.”

Fauci also claimed that the B.1.1.7 variant, first found in Britain, has been spreading so rapidly in the States that it could account for 20 percent of new COVID cases.

The nation still awaits the day when good news isn’t met with 30 caveats. We’ll get there. Stay safe.