On Tuesday, April 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) released updated recommendations for fully vaccinated people. According to the guidance, fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 2 weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series or 2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine. As per the CDC, fully vaccinated people now can:
- Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Visit with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Participate in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues
- Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or 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
- Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
- Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
- Refrain from routine screening testing if asymptomatic and feasible
The CDC provides clarification that fully vaccinated workers no longer need to be restricted from work following an exposure as long as they are asymptomatic. In addition, fully vaccinated asymptomatic people without an exposure may be exempted from routine screening testing, if feasible.
Although the CDC has relaxed some of its safety protocols, employers should be sure to adhere to the standards set forth by New York State and OSHA. We recommend that employers remain vigilant in order to continue to provide a safe work environment for all employees and to enforce safety and preventive measures to maintain a safe workplace.