|COVID-19 CZAR PROVIDES UPDATE ON CDC GUIDANCE|
Additionally Wednesday, West Virginia COVID-19 Czar Dr. Clay Marsh, took time in his remarks to explain recent updates to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidance on COVID-19 as more Americans and West Virginians begin to be vaccinated.
“For people that are fully vaccinated – people that have received two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – and are at least two weeks removed from receiving their final dose, which is the timeline that your immune system is fully activated and giving you the immune response, if you are around other people that are also fully vaccinated and two weeks out from their final dose, then everybody is okay around each other to take your masks off, to be able to be together, to hug each other,” Dr. Marsh said.
“Separately, if you are an older West Virginian who has been completely vaccinated and you’re two weeks out from your last dose, and you want to go visit your family, your grandkids, then, as long as everybody is in a low-risk setting – and that means they haven’t been around people with COVID or in high-risk areas, they’ve been wearing their mask – then you are also okay to be around each other without masks on,” Dr. Marsh continued. “If you’re with multiple people, some of whom have not been vaccinated or some of whom may have had higher risk activities, then the recommendation is that everyone should wear their mask and stay physically distanced.
“It has also been guided by the CDC that if you’re fully vaccinated and two weeks out from your last dose, and then you’re around somebody who is later diagnosed with COVID-19, you do not have to quarantine, as long as you do not develop any symptoms,” Dr. Marsh added. “If you develop symptoms, of course, you should quarantine and get tested.”
Dr. Marsh also went on to say that, despite the encouraging downward trend of COVID-19 numbers in West Virginia, all residents should still remain cautious.
“We’ve just identified our fourth case of the United Kingdom variant of the virus. We’ve identified some California variants of the virus,” Dr. Marsh said. “We’re not seeing the explosive growth in these variants as some other states are. But it is a reminder to us that we constantly need to be vigilant and making sure that we are caring for ourselves and getting vaccinated when it’s our turn.”