Since the beginning of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution, 43.7% of Americans are now fully vaccinated. Most states have fully opened, and most have fully lifted mask mandates. Daily new cases and deaths are at a fraction of where they were previously. Nevertheless, they are still occurring. Is this the end of quarantine? Not yet.
Quarantine Guidelines from the CDC
Just because many people are vaccinated doesn’t mean those exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms no longer have to quarantine. The vaccinations have changed things a little but are mainly divided into directives for fully, partially, and unvaccinated individuals. Here is what the CDC says:
- Unvaccinated must quarantine:
- 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
- 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
- Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving.
- Partially vaccinated means:
- You have either not received your 2nd dose, or:
- It has not been 2 weeks since your second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
- It has not been 2 weeks since your single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen.
- Partially vaccinated individuals experiencing symptoms or exposed to the virus would need to follow the standard quarantine guidelines as an unvaccinated person does.
- Fully vaccinated exposure to virus:
- You do not need to stay away from others or go through testing unless you have symptoms. Symptomatic fully vaccinated individuals will then follow the standard quarantine guidelines listed under unvaccinated individuals.
Herd Immunity and Continuing the Fight
Herd immunity became a buzzword when cases skyrocketed last year. It means the number of people in a population who can get the disease drops to such a low level that any new cases cannot spread. The problem is that accomplishing herd immunity means isolating people with symptoms and isolation from any new factors altering what we know about the disease. Neither of which is present in COVID-19. Variations in the virus and vaccine hesitancy further challenge the reality of reaching herd immunity.
The reduction in cases and deaths is directly related to vaccine distribution and emerging treatments. The data gathered so far has shown vaccines are effective at preventing the virus, while treatments are helping more people to recover once they get it.
Is this the end of the need for quarantine? No. If the virus has taught us anything, it’s to be respectful of each other’s health. It’s also evident that when a community unites against a public health threat, nothing’s impossible. Get involved in COVID-19 studies currently enrolling here at Arizona Liver Health. Healthy individuals, those experiencing symptoms, or have tested positive for COVID-19 are needed. Call us at (480) 360-4000 or visit our website to learn more!