vaccine

Millions of Americans have received their COVID-19 vaccinations.

It remains important to take steps to avoid the spread of COVID-19. But as people become fully vaccinated, they can begin to resume some of the activities they put on hold because of the pandemic. In some situations, they may not need to wear a mask.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidelines on safer activities for people who are fully vaccinated.

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When Am I Fully Vaccinated for COVID-19?

You are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if:

  • Two weeks have passed since your second dose of a two-dose vaccine (i.e. Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna)
  • Two weeks have passed since you received a single-dose vaccine (i.e. Johnson & Johnson/Janssen)

If less than two weeks have passed since your final dose, or if you have only received one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, you are NOT fully vaccinated.

Do I Still Need to Wear a Mask After Being Fully Vaccinated?

According to the CDC, people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can participate in some activities without wearing a mask.

In general, activities that are outdoors are the lowest risk once you are fully vaccinated.

Activities where it is safer to go without a mask once fully vaccinated include:

  • Walking, running, or biking outdoors with members of your household
  • Attending a small outdoor gathering with family and friends who are fully vaccinated
  • Attending a small outdoor gathering with people who are not fully vaccinated
  • Dining at an outdoor establishment with people from multiple households
  • Gathering indoors with people who are fully vaccinated
  • Gathering indoors with one other household that is not fully vaccinated, but is at low risk for COVID-19 complications

When Should Fully Vaccinated People Wear a Mask?

Even after being fully vaccinated, you should continue to follow COVID-19 prevention guidelines in public places. That includes wearing a mask. Activities where you should wear a mask even after being fully vaccinated include:

  • Attending a crowded outdoor event (sports game, concert, parade, etc.)
  • Going to an indoor shopping center or museum
  • Going to an indoor movie theater
  • Riding public transportation
  • Attending a full-capacity worship service
  • Singing in an indoor chorus
  • Participating in an indoor, high-intensity exercise class
  • Going to an indoor restaurant or bar, while you are not eating or drinking
  • Attending an indoor gathering with a mixture of fully vaccinated and not fully vaccinated people from multiple households
  • Attending an indoor gathering with a household that is not fully vaccinated and that is at high risk of COVID-19 complications

In addition to wearing a mask in indoor public places, people who are fully vaccinated also should avoid crowds as much as possible and keep 6 feet of physical distance from people who are not from their household.

Mask Guidelines For People Who Are Not Fully Vaccinated

If you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should continue to wear a mask in most public places. You should also avoid crowds and keep 6 feet of physical distancing from people not from your household.

According to the CDC, you can go without a mask when exercising outdoors with people from your household, and when you attend a small outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated people. In most other situations, you should continue to wear a mask.

The CDC also highlighted activities that are more and less safe for people who are not fully vaccinated, even when you are wearing a mask:

The safest activity if you wear a mask is attending a small outdoor gathering with a mixture of fully vaccinated and not fully vaccinated people.

Less safe activities, even if you are wearing a mask, include:

  • Dining at an outdoor restaurant with people from multiple households
  • Visiting a barber or hair salon
  • Going to an uncrowded indoor shopping center or museum
  • Riding public transport
  • Attending an indoor gathering with a mixture of fully vaccinated and not fully vaccinated people from multiple households

The least safe activities, even if you are wearing a mask, include:

  • Going to a crowded outdoor event (i.e. concert, sporting event, parade)
  • Going to an indoor movie theater
  • Attending a full-capacity worship service
  • Singing in an indoor chorus
  • Going to an indoor restaurant or bar
  • Participating in an indoor, high-intensity exercise class
Sources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Choosing Safer Activities. Link

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, When You've Been Fully Vaccinated. Link

About UPMC

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