The CDC updated COVID guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals on April 29. Vaccinated individuals can visit other vaccinated people without masks or social distancing, travel without COVID testing, visit low-risk unvaccinated people and are not required to quarantine following a known exposure, according to the CDC.
However, vaccinated people must continue to wear masks around unvaccinated high-risk individuals and gatherings with multiple households, avoid large indoor gatherings and get tested if experiencing COVID symptoms, according to the CDC. The CDC’s official health recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals is available online.
“As of right now, the school hasn’t been given separate guidelines for individuals who have been vaccinated,” principal John Pehrson said.
The new guidelines are bringing comfort to staff and students who have been vaccinated, according to literary and language arts teacher Kate Avery and sophomore Krish Arora.
Avery received the second dose of the vaccine on April 15 at Families Together of Orange County Community Health Center.
“I still wear a mask and wash hands and wash surfaces, but there is that sense of comfort that I am vaccinated, so I can see my family,” Avery said. “It makes me feel a lot better.”
The lighter COVID restrictions published by the CDC for vaccinated individuals are a sign of going in the right direction and eventually letting COVID have a smaller impact on our lives, according to Avery.
Arora received the second dose of the vaccine on May 9.
“I was able to get the vaccine since I am 16 years old,” Arora said. “Some of my friends haven’t gotten vaccinated yet even though they want to because they aren’t old enough. I’m happy about the new COVID restrictions because I can be more relaxed outside and meeting other people.”
Avery also said she noticed personal benefits to vaccination, in addition to the communal benefits. Due to the relatively lightened COVID restrictions for vaccinated individuals, Avery can stay more relaxed while visiting her family and close friends.
“We’re making good progress as a country, better than I thought we would be,” Avery said.