New CDC guidelines bring hope to Kansas City metro

Posted at 8:09 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 23:51:42-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Fred Gambino and his wife have spent much of the COVID-19 pandemic at home, avoiding family gatherings. But new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could make those visits more likely for the Gambinos and others.

The Kansas City, Missouri, couple received their second COVID-19 vaccine three weeks ago and are planning on seeing family for the first time in years.

“My daughter, we haven’t seen her in two years,” Gambino said. “If we get vaccinated and we follow the mask rules, according to the CDC, I think hopefully in three months, six months, nine months, we’ll be close to normalcy again.”

The CDC announced its new guidelines on Monday for people who are fully vaccinated, recommending that those individuals can visit others who are fully vaccinated indoors without having to wear a mask or social distance.

The CDC also said fully vaccinated individuals can visit with unvaccinated individuals from a single household without a mask, if those people are at low risk for COVID-19 and have no comorbidities.

“We believe your chance, your ability, to spread the disease if you have it is much lower with the vaccine,” Dr. Dana Hawkinson, of the University of Kansas Health System, said.

People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

“These vaccines are new," Hawkinson said. "We don’t have a lot of real-world experience with them. We still need to be cautious."

Another guideline the CDC announced Monday is that fully vaccinated people do not have to quarantine or get tested following a known exposure if they are asymptomatic.