About 16% of Arkansas have been vaccinated at this point. Herd immunity will require about 70%. Most of the time, that means you should still wear a mask and social distance. However, the CDC has just released some updated guidance that should make you very happy that you got your shot.
Here are some things fully vaccinated people (that is, 14 days after you have had both your shots) can do:
Have gatherings with other fully vaccinated people
You’re fully vaccinated. Your friends from work are also fully vaccinated. Your parents are fully vaccinated.
Then you can all get together as you used to before the pandemic. You don’t have to wear masks or social distance.
That’s as long as all of you are fully vaccinated.
Visit single-household groups or families with low risk
You’re fully vaccinated, and you have a sister whose family isn’t vaccinated, but they are following the rules and they are not at high risk. You can visit them without masks or social distancing.
This will help grandparents who have been separated from their children and grandchildren for months. Once grandparents are fully vaccinated, they can rejoin family gatherings in a single-household without masks or social distancing.
Another example would be a couple who haven’t been able to visit their neighbors. Once the couple is fully vaccinated, they can start up those canasta games with their neighbors, even if their neighbors aren’t yet fully vaccinated.
Skip quarantine under some circumstances
If you are fully vaccinated and you have been exposed to the virus, you can skip quarantine and testing as long as you have no symptoms.
Precautions you still should be taking
- You should still wear a mask and practice social distancing when you are in public places. For example, you must still wear a mask in the grocery store.
- You should continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing when you visit unvaccinated people who may be at high risk for severe cases of COVID-19. This would include older people who have not yet been vaccinated, smokers, pregnant women, people with medical conditions including obesity and diabetes that put them at higher risk of severe illness.
- You should also follow these precautions when you are visiting with unvaccinated people from more than one household. For example, if you are vaccinated and have several adult sons and daughters who are not vaccinated and live with their spouses and children in separate households, you should wear a mask if you gather with them.
- You still should not join large gatherings or travel freely. That big concert or conference should wait for next year.
- You should still follow regulations at work.
- You should still be tested and quarantined if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
Congratulations on receiving your vaccine. We are working toward greater safety for everyone. Please continue to follow the rules that are moving us closer to that goal — and enjoy the additional freedom you have since you got your shots!