The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines Friday for fully vaccinated people that will stretch into gatherings during the holiday season.
The general guidance comes just before masses of people traditionally begin traveling and visiting relatives for Thanksgiving and Christmas, providing information on how to approach those family gatherings.
"Currently approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines protect people from getting infected and severely ill, and significantly reduce the likelihood of hospitalization and death," the agency guidance read. "Fully vaccinated people are less likely to become infected and, if infected, to develop symptoms of COVID-19 compared with unvaccinated people.
"Even when fully vaccinated people develop symptoms they tend to be less severe symptoms than in unvaccinated people. This means they are much less likely to be hospitalized or die than people who are not vaccinated. However, people who get vaccine breakthrough infections can be contagious and spread the virus to others."
The new guidance for fully vaccinated people, those with two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson shot, say that those folks can now "participate in many of the activities that they did before the pandemic."
They can also resume domestic travel without testing, before or after, their trip, and no longer quarantine after traveling to a location.
That can also apply to international travel, unless the destination country requires testing or quarantines, according to the CDC.
The agency reminded fully vaccinated people they can still get the virus because the vaccines are not 100% effective.
To avoid getting a "breakthrough case," especially from the delta variant, fully vaccinated people should wear a mask inside where there is a high rate of transmission, or if someone in their household is at an increased risk for disease or immunocompromised, the CDC guidance said.
They are also advised to get tested if they display symptoms or have come into close contact with an infected person in the past five to seven days.
If they have been exposed to someone with the virus, they should still wear a mask inside for 14 days, or until they get a negative test result.
The guidance also said fully vaccinated people that test positive for the disease, or have symptoms, should isolate themselves.
In addition to these guidelines, everyone is reminded to follow all applicable laws from the federal, state, local, or tribal authorities.
For the unvaccinated or immunocompromised people, the guidelines continue to recommend following mitigation efforts such as masking, social distancing, avoiding crowds, and poorly ventilated areas.
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