Many people today are under the illusion that having vaccines negates the need of wearing face masks. But, that’s not really the case. Not only are transmissions still possible even after getting vaccinated but most people haven’t received their first shot yet.
So, when is it OK to take off your mask around others? Dr. Fauci explains when it’s fine to regain a bit of normalcy and when we should still be extra safe.
As the CDC is still preparing guidelines for fully vaccinated people, the nation’s top infectious disease expert has chimed in with some tips.
“If you are vaccinated, and you are with someone who’s vaccinated, the things that you can do are much, much more liberal in the sense of pulling back on stringent public health measures, versus when you’re out in society,” said Fauci.
“I use the example of a daughter coming in from out of town who is doubly vaccinated, and a husband and wife doubly vaccinated, and maybe a next-door neighbor who you know are doubly vaccinated,” said Fauci as he was previewing the coming CDC guidelines together with Dr. Rachelle Walensky.
“Small gatherings in the home of people, I think you can clearly feel that the risk — the relative risk is so low that you would not have to wear a mask, that you could have a good social gathering within the home.”
When should we be careful?
Since there are several different Covid-19 variants floating around, Dr. Fauci recommends that Americans stay vigilant around those whose vaccine status doesn’t match their own. The given example is a vaccinated grandparent visiting their unvaccinated family members.
“Grandma could still get the virus in her nasopharynx, even though the vaccine is preventing her from getting physically ill,” and she could transmit the virus to unvaccinated people, Dr. Fauci explained.
Setting a personal example, Dr. Fauci explained how he treats social gatherings at his own home:
“If we have someone in the house that would be a non-occupant of the house, it’s somebody that we know has either been vaccinated or tests themselves very, very frequently,” he said. “So we’re still very careful.”
Yet, Dr. Fauci is still avoiding indoor restaurant dining. Resorting to takeouts or outdoor dining, he also said that he avoids traveling by airplane “for a number of reasons” when he can help it.
“I’m at the age that is still at a pretty high risk [for severe COVID],” Fauci said. Air travel is “not going to be like a light switch that you turn on and off,” he added.
As far as masks are concerned, Dr. Fauci said that “I have not really changed much in my public health measures that I abide by.”
What are the CDC’s expected guidelines for vaccinated individuals?
Although vaccines are effective at preventing you from falling ill or needing to be hospitalized it doesn’t give you a free pass. You still need to be cautious around others. Some of the guidelines experts recommend include things we’re all too familiar with:
- A limit to social interactions with people that have undergone similar vaccination procedures or are regularly rested for Covid-19
- Maintain social distancing in public
- Wear a mask both indoors and outdoors to limit the spread of the disease
- Maintain proper hygiene
- Be observant about the tell-tale signs of Covid-19 that may necessitate a Covid-19 test or a self-imposed isolation