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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday issued Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People. It stated:
√ Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
√ Fully vaccinated people can refrain from testing following a known exposure unless they are residents or employees of a correctional or detention facility or a homeless shelter.
Currently authorized vaccines in the United States are highly effective at protecting vaccinated people against symptomatic and severe COVID-19. Additionally, a growing body of evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection or transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others. How long vaccine protection lasts and how much vaccines protect against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants are still under investigation.
Risk of SARS-CV-2 infection is minimal for fully vaccinated people. The risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from fully vaccinated people to unvaccinated people is also reduced. Therefore, fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. Fully vaccinated people should also continue to wear a well-fitted mask in correctional facilities and homeless shelters. Prevention measures are still recommended for unvaccinated people.
The following recommendations apply to non-healthcare settings. For related information for healthcare settings, visit Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination.
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.
√ Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
√ Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.
√ Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings.
√ Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic.
√ Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible.
For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:
√ Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
√ Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations
More information is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html.
In response, Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated, "In New York, we have always relied on the facts and the science to guide us throughout the worst of this pandemic and in our successful reopening. We have received the newly revised guidance from the CDC regarding mask wearing and social distancing for those with vaccinations and are reviewing them in consultation with Dr. Zucker and our partners and health experts in surrounding states."
On Friday, Niagara County Legislator Rich Andres said, “For well over a year, we have been told to follow the science, follow the guidelines, listen to the experts. Many of us have done just that, regardless of some of the inconsistent policy decisions or questionable guidelines like dancing in your own square at weddings. We did this because we cared about keeping ourselves and others safe and getting our lives back to normal as quickly as possible.
“As chairman of the Niagara County Economic Development Committee, I have witnessed firsthand how the pandemic and the strict guidelines have wreaked havoc on business across all communities. Many have done all they can to hang on and some, unfortunately, have not made it.
“Thankfully, we have turned a corner and the CDC is telling Americans to take off the masks. Yet Gov. Cuomo apparently needs to study it, review it, sleep on it and talk about it with others before he will take the CDC guidance. What happened to follow the science and trust the experts?
“The residents, businesses and elected leaders of Niagara County are calling on Gov. Cuomo to immediately adopt the CDC guidelines on masks. The governor was able to close the entire state down in a matter of days. Lifting the mask mandate should not take much thought and is long overdue.”