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CDC updates guidance for fully vaccinated individuals

Most recommendations remain unchanged for health care settings

May 05, 2021

By Mary Beth Versaci

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to update its guidance for those fully vaccinated against COVID-19, although most recommended precautions, such as the use of personal protective equipment, remain the same for health care settings, including dental offices.

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated when it has been at least two weeks since they received the second dose in a two-dose vaccine series or one dose of a single-dose vaccine. As of late April, the CDC's updated health care infection prevention and control recommendations in response to COVID-19 vaccination included the following guidelines for fully vaccinated health care personnel:

• Personnel with higher-risk exposures who are asymptomatic do not need to be restricted from work for 14 days following their exposure.
• Personnel who have traveled should continue to follow CDC travel recommendations and requirements, including restriction from work, when recommended for any traveler.
• Personnel with symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of their vaccination status, should receive a viral test immediately.
• Asymptomatic personnel with a higher-risk exposure, regardless of their vaccination status, should have a series of two viral tests for SARS-CoV-2 infection. In these situations, testing is recommended immediately and five to seven days after exposure. Higher-risk exposures generally involve exposure of their eyes, nose or mouth to material potentially containing SARS-CoV-2, particularly if they were present in the room during an aerosol-generating procedure and not wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment. People with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the last 90 days do not need to be tested if they remain asymptomatic, even if they have a known contact.
• Recommendations for use of personal protective equipment by health care personnel remain unchanged.
• Fully vaccinated individuals can be excluded from expanded screening SARS-CoV-2 testing performed by health care facilities for asymptomatic personnel who do not have a known exposure.

The CDC will continue to update its recommendations for health care settings as new information becomes available.

In its interim public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people, the CDC states fully vaccinated individuals outside of health care settings may:

• Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.
• Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household, including children, who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 without wearing masks or physical distancing while indoors.
• Participate in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues.
• Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantining after travel.
• Refrain from testing before leaving the U.S. for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the U.S.
• 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 asymptomatic and feasible.

However, as of late April, the CDC advised fully vaccinated people should continue to:

• Take precautions in indoor public settings, such as wearing a well-fitted mask.
• Wear well-fitted masks when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 or have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19.
• Wear well-fitted masks when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people from multiple households.
• Avoid indoor, large-sized, in-person gatherings.
• Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
• Follow guidance issued by individual employers.
• Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations.

For more information, visit CDC.gov.