Now that more and more people are getting vaccinated for COVID-19, it’s becoming more and more likely to see groups of people going out to socialize in public or at a friend’s house. To continue staying safe while out with friends and family, follow these tips:
The COVID-19 Vaccine
Before getting into the list, it’s essential to keep in mind that the Coronavirus vaccine does not “cure” Coronavirus itself. Like other vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine prepares the body for fighting off the virus, making it easier for the body to prevent it altogether or prevent symptoms from causing hospitalization or death. This means that even if you are vaccinated, you still may be capable of spreading the virus to others who are unvaccinated.
1. Is Everyone Vaccinated?
Before getting together with anyone, the first and most important question you should ask is: “am I vaccinated, and are my friends vaccinated as well?” According to the CDC, someone is fully vaccinated for COVID-19 if they have received two doses of their vaccine and have then waited the allotted two-week period. After that, people who have been fully vaccinated are more than welcome to spend time together without masks.
2. Wear Your Mask
This tip goes along with the CDC’s current update: if you and your friends or family have been fully vaccinated (and have let the vaccine sit for two weeks), you may get together without masks or the need for social distancing. While this notice extends to public gatherings, it may be beneficial to wear a mask when in crowded places like malls or restaurants. Since we can’t control who is and isn’t fully vaccinated, you can prevent further spread by wearing your mask and following social distance guidelines around strangers.
3. Do Employees Have to Wear Masks?
Some workplaces may allow employees to stop wearing masks after they’ve been fully vaccinated. However, many workplaces do not allow this whatsoever. As of right now, OSHA does not have enough information to make a regulation mask policy, so employers must follow CDC guidelines. If state or local governments have stricter policies in place, all workplaces must follow those guidelines.
I’m Immunocompromised. What Should I Do?
Immunocompromised people who are fully vaccinated will have to follow different rules when socializing, especially when it comes to wearing masks. Since it is easier for people with weakened immune systems to get sick and be hospitalized due to illness, you still may need to wear a mask in public spaces. At home and around housemates, however, you should be fine not to wear a mask. However, it is always crucial to speak with your doctor regarding mask policy first!