Wed. Sep 28th, 2022
A woman in a suit speaks from a podium.
enlarge dr. Rochelle Walensky, President Joe Biden’s choice to head the Centers for Disease Control.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to release guidelines this week — possibly as early as Thursday — on activities deemed safe for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

But while much of the country yearns for a return to normalcy, the guidance is unlikely to give a satisfying taste of it. People who have been fully vaccinated are advised to continue to adhere to most public health measures, such as wearing masks and physical distancing in most environments. Although given the green light for limited social gatherings, those should be kept small and at home, and early reports say only other fully vaccinated adults should be included.

In a press conference Monday, Anthony Fauci, top infectious disease expert, gave an example:

I’m using the example of a daughter who comes from out of town who is double vaccinated, and a husband and wife doubly vaccinated, and maybe a neighbor that you know has been double vaccinated. Small gatherings in people’s homes, I think you can clearly feel that the risk – the relative risk – is so low that you don’t have to wear a mask, that you can have a good social gathering at home. Furthermore, it will be based on a combination of data, a combination of modeling and a combination of good clinical judgment.

The guidance includes further scenarios and considerations for socializing and traveling.

Two senior Biden officials who worked on the guidelines told Politico the recommendations will align closely with recent advice from CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who has repeatedly emphasized that health measures must be maintained at this weak point in the pandemic.

“Critical Link”

“Now, more than ever, we must do everything we can to stop the spread of the virus,” Walensky said at a news conference on Wednesday. She pleaded with Americans to keep wearing masks, stay six feet apart, avoid crowds and avoid travel.

“Today we are at a critical nexus in the pandemic,” Walensky warned. After new cases of COVID-19 plummeted for weeks, they have now stalled at a high level, she noted.

“So much can change in the coming weeks,” she said. “On the one hand, cases in the country are stabilizing at a pace that is just about to rise again and the B.1.1.7 hyper-portable variant is looming, poised to hijack our successes thus far. And on the other hand, stamina has weakened, fatigue is gaining and the exact measures we have taken to stop the pandemic are now too often blatantly ignored.”

Many states have eased restrictions in recent days. Massachusetts, for example, has lifted capacity restrictions on restaurants. Iowa, Mississippi, Montana and Texas, among others, have lifted mask mandates.

Walensky addressed Americans directly. “Whether it’s mandatory or not… we can still take the right public health measures to protect ourselves and others.”

By akfire1

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