Newly released CDC guidance for fully vaccinated people is bringing hope for many after nearly a year of isolation and separation.
During a While House COVID Response briefing Monday, the CDC now says groups of fully vaccinated people can gather indoors without masks.
According to new guidance from the agency:
"We've been through a lot this past year and with more and more people getting vaccinated each day, we are starting to turn a corner,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.
Fully vaccinated people are still encouraged to wear masks in public.
"While we work to quickly vaccinate people more and more each day, we have to see this through. Let's stick together. please keep wearing a well-fitted mask and take the other public health options we know work to help stop the spread of this virus,” Dr. Walensky said.
Central Coast business owners hope everyone keeps safety protocols in mind until immunity increases.
“We don't know who has been vaccinated or not so we do require people to wear a mask at least once you get to your table you can take it off and enjoy your dinner,” General Manager of Gina’s Italian Restaurant Miguel Padilla said.
Currently, state and county guidelines require all people to wear a mask if outside their home with exceptions, so it's unclear what impact the new national guidelines will have.
California Public Health leaders are expected to update state guidelines on Wednesday which will influence what happens locally.
“It's an added challenge to a challenge that already is running a restaurant especially with your family. We have just had a common goal of keeping people feeling safe which I think [customers] have always felt safe throughout the whole pandemic,” Old Village Grill manager Justin Delaney said.
CDC Director Dr. Walensky calls the recommendations "an important first step," but says they will be updated as more people get vaccinated.
According to the CDC, more than 30 million adults or over nine percent (9.2%) of the total population have been fully vaccinated.