OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued new guidance that underscores how important getting the COVID vaccine is in having more safety and freedom.
Though the easing of COVID restriction has been slow, America seems to be turning the page in the pandemic as vaccinations ramp up.
The chief benefit of the COVID vaccine is that people have a lot more freedom and less worry once they are fully inoculated.
"Fully vaccinated people can visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or physical distancing," said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
The recommendations also say vaccinated people can come together in the same way — in a single household — with people considered at low-risk for severe diseases, such as in the case of vaccinated grandparents visiting healthy children and grandchildren.
Another benefit is that people no longer have to be tested or quarantine if they come in contact with a COVID-positive person who is asymptomatic.
But federal health officials encourage people to monitor for symptoms for two weeks.
"This was the whole point of vaccines was to get back to close human contact. We are primates. We are social animals. We want to see each other," said UCSF infectious disease expert Dr. Monica Gandhi.
The CDC is continuing to recommend that fully vaccinated people still wear well-fitted masks, avoid large gatherings, and physically distance themselves from others when out in public.
"In the world of fairness and, we only have a few months longer, I would keep the masks and social distancing outside the home," echoed Dr. Gandhi.
Despite the new CDC recommendations, travel guidelines remain unchanged.
"For now, we will continue to examine this in the upcoming weeks and update our guidance accordingly," said Walensky.