We all have the responsibility to protect ourselves, our families, friends, and community. The best way to prevent COVID-19 and the Delta variant is to get vaccinated. Risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, severe disease, and death is reduced for fully vaccinated people. People are considered fully vaccinated:
- 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
- 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine
Fully vaccinated people can:
- Participate in many of the activities that they did before the pandemic; for some of these activities, they may choose to wear a mask.
- Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel and from self-quarantine after travel.
- Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.
People who are immunocompromised should be counseled about the potential for reduced immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines and to follow current prevention measures (including wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others they don’t live with, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces) regardless of their vaccination status to protect themselves against COVID-19 until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
On July 27, 2021, the CDC issued updated guidance about wearing face masks. Everyone—regardless of vaccination status—should wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.
Follow any applicable federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.
Fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated. People who are at increased risk for severe disease include older adults and those who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, overweight or obesity, and heart conditions.
Recommendations for Indoor and Outdoor Settings
Indoor settings—Risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, severe disease, and death is reduced for fully vaccinated people. Though they happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, some infections do occur among fully vaccinated people. Fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can transmit it to others. Therefore, fully vaccinated people can further reduce their risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant and transmitting it to others by wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission.
Wearing a mask in public is most important for people who are immunocompromised. Fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated.
Outdoor settings— Current data suggest the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in outdoor settings is minimal. In general, fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask outdoors. Fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised.
Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread SARS-CoV-2 and can now travel at low risk to themselves within the United States. International travelers need to pay close attention to the situation at their international destinations before traveling due to the spread of new variants and because the burden of COVID-19 varies globally.
Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like on open deck areas of a ferry or the uncovered top deck of a bus).
Recommendations for Isolation, Quarantine and Testing
The following recommendations apply to non-healthcare settings. Guidance for residents and staff of healthcare settings can be found in the Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination.
Fully vaccinated people with COVID-19 symptoms
Although the risk that fully vaccinated people could become infected with COVID-19 is low, any fully vaccinated person who experiences symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should isolate themselves from others, be clinically evaluated for COVID-19, and tested for SARS-CoV-2 if indicated. The symptomatic fully vaccinated person should inform their healthcare provider of their vaccination status at the time of presentation to care.
Fully vaccinated people with no COVID-like symptoms following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19
- Get tested 5-7 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until a negative test result.
- Isolate if you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- If you live in a household with someone who is immunosuppressed, at increased risk of severe disease, or unvaccinated (including children <12 years of age) you could also consider masking at home for 14 days following a known exposure or until you receive a negative test result.
- Most fully vaccinated people with no COVID-like symptoms do not need to quarantine or be restricted from work following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, if they follow the testing and masking recommendation above.
- Fully vaccinated people should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure.
Fully vaccinated people with no COVID-19-like symptoms and no known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19
It is recommended that fully vaccinated people with no COVID-19-like symptoms and no known exposure should be exempted from routine screening testing programs, if feasible.
Find this information and more from the CDC at www.cdc.gov.