The CDC Is About to Relax These COVID Restrictions, Dr. Fauci Says
The top infectious disease expert says the agency may soon change this major guideline.
The pace of COVID vaccinations is picking up speed in the U.S. and new cases continue to drop across the country. With numbers improving in both directions, officials are becoming cautiously optimistic that some guidelines put in place to keep the public safe could slowly begin to go away soon. This includes White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, who says that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be about to relax some COVID restrictions around people who are fully vaccinated. Read on to see what the changes might be, and for more news you should know, check out If You Take This Common Medication, Talk to a Doctor Before Your Vaccine.
Fauci is optimistic the CDC will relax guidelines around fully vaccinated people.
During an interview with CNN's Alisyn Camerota on Feb. 23, Fauci was asked why people still were not able to return to normal activities, like dining in restaurants, as vaccines are being administered. He responded by explaining that the CDC wants "to make sure they sit down, talk about it, look at the data and then come out with a recommendation based on the science," but added that it was "common sense" that COVID-19 protective measures didn't need to be as strict for anyone who had received both doses of their vaccine. And for one thing he gave the OK on, check out Dr. Fauci Says It's Safe for You to Do This Once You're Vaccinated.
The changes could affect spending time with fully vaccinated family and friends.
Fauci went on to explain that health guidelines were still important while interacting with strangers in public. But he was optimistic that certain changes could soon be coming that would make it easier to spend time with tighter-knit groups of people who you know have been immunized.
"I believe you're going to be hearing more of the recommendations of how you can relax the stringency of some of the things, particularly when you're dealing with something like your own personal family when people have been vaccinated," Fauci said on CNN. And for more on what you shouldn't do post-shot, check out Don't Do This Until a Month After Your COVID Vaccine, Experts Warn.
Fauci believes the CDC's guideline changes are "coming soon."
When pressed by Camerota on any kind of expected timeline for these guideline changes, Fauci remained vague but optimistic that answers would arrive shortly. "I hope that we will be able to answer the logical questions that people are asking," he said. "I agree, they're questions that we need to answer pretty soon because more and more people are going to be vaccinated; every single day there'll be more and more people and they're going to be asking that question."
Fauci then said that he believed firm recommendations from the CDC "will be coming soon." He added that he addresses these questions with his colleagues at the CDC practically every day, including "as recently as last night." And for more COVID news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
The CDC has recently changed other guidelines for vaccinated people.
This wouldn't be the first major guideline change the CDC has made for those who are fully vaccinated. On Feb. 10, the agency announced that anyone who had received both doses would no longer have to quarantine after being exposed to someone infected with the virus. The CDC also clarified that two weeks should have passed since the second dose had been administered to ensure that full immunity had been achieved.
But the agency stopped short of making any other major changes. "At this time, vaccinated persons should continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves and others, including wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, avoiding poorly ventilated spaces, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands often, following CDC travel guidance, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance, including guidance related to personal protective equipment use or SARS-CoV-2 testing," the agency's website reads. And for more advice to keep in mind, check out If You're Over 65, the CDC Says Not to Do This Before Your Vaccine.