On March 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidelines for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Seniors are often the first to get vaccinated in these guidelines, leaving many people asking if they can now visit vaccinated seniors.
“Fully vaccinated” means people who are two weeks or more past their second shot of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks or more past receiving the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people are able to safely visit with other fully vaccinated people in small gatherings indoors or out without wearing masks or physically distancing.
Additionally, fully vaccinated seniors can visit with unvaccinated healthy adult children and healthy grandchildren of the same household without masks or distancing. Because fully vaccinated people may still carry the virus without symptoms (asymptomatic), the unvaccinated people need to be at low risk for developing severe symptoms and the visit should be local, without requiring extensive travel.
In public, vaccinated people regardless of their age should continue to wear masks, maintain social distancing, avoid poorly ventilated spaces, cover coughs and sneezes, and wash their hands frequently for at least 20 seconds per wash.
Visitation Precautions Still in Place
Vaccinated people should still avoid large and medium-size gatherings, including those involving multiple households. (The CDC did not provide numbers for “large and medium-size gatherings.”) While in public, vaccinated people should continue to wear masks and practice social distancing.
The CDC still advises Americans to avoid travel and stay home unless necessary.
While it may be possible for seniors, under certain circumstances, to safely visit their adult children and grandchildren, experts are cautioning people not to rush back into the lives they led before the pandemic. The number of infections have decreased but are still high, and variants continue to evolve. New developments and guidelines will continue to appear. While eager to visit vaccinated seniors, safety still needs to be top of mind.