As the number of fully vaccinated residents in Santa Barbara County continues to climb, Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso outlined what people can do once they’ve been fully vaccinated.
Along with increased protection against the novel coronavirus, being fully vaccinated comes with the benefits of indoor visits, and domestic and international travel.
Individuals are considered fully vaccinated at least two weeks after they receive the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, or at least two weeks after they receive a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Fully vaccinated residents can gather with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or social distancing, Do-Reynoso said at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.
They also can spend time with unvaccinated people indoors without physical distancing or mask-wearing if the unvaccinated people are from a single household and at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease, she added.
Fully vaccinated individuals can travel within the country without being tested for the virus before or after the trip, and without quarantining upon return, Do-Reynoso said.
Those people can also travel internationally without a pre-travel COVID-19 test, depending on the destination, and without quarantining upon return, she added.
Those who travel internationally will still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from the virus before boarding a flight back into the country, and should still get tested three to five days after returning home, according to the CDC.
If you are fully vaccinated and have been around someone known to have the virus, the CDC says that you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless symptoms occur.
However, the CDC advises that if you live in a group setting and are around someone infected with the virus, you should stay away from others for 14 days and seek testing.
While travel and gathering guidelines have been relaxed for fully vaccinated people, they should still take precautions while in public settings, Do-Reynoso said.
People should continue to wear a well-fitted mask and keep a 6-foot social distance, seek testing and isolate if they experience COVID-19 symptoms, and avoid crowds indoors, especially when mixing with others who are not fully vaccinated, Do-Reynoso said.
Fully vaccinated people should also refrain from gathering indoors unmasked with people at increased risk for severe illness from the virus, she added.
The CDC says fully vaccinated people should still avoid attending medium or large gatherings, but state guidelines allow larger private events and get-togethers under the orange tier than earlier reopening phases.
Private events can have 100 people outdoors, or up to 300 if everyone has tested negative or been vaccinated, according to the California Department of Public Health.
Fully vaccinated people should continue to watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, and if symptoms occur, should seek testing and stay away from others, according to the CDC.