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Is it safe to visit family indoors in a pandemic? Your guide



Some people have been vaccinated against coronavirus, but the risks associated with spending time outside your household have not been completely eradicated.

“The hard part is that right now I think we still all need to be aware of everything we do, whether we are vaccinated or not,” said Dr. Ada Stewart, a family physician with Cooperative Health in Columbia, South Carolina. and president of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

“It makes a difference if you are vaccinated, especially if you have family members who are vaccinated, and then you can all come together in a different way,” Stewart said. “So there is a small difference, but everyone still needs to follow the public health measures recommended from (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).”

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Fully vaccinated people can “visit other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physically removing themselves,” the CDC has said. They can also “visit unvaccinated individuals from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distance.”
Fully vaccinated people can visit unvaccinated family and friends, but one household at a time, says CDC official

But there are exceptions. For example, if you are fully vaccinated and visit people who are unvaccinated and at high risk for serious illness or death from coronavirus, wear a mask and exercise physically.

Also, avoid attending medium or large gatherings where you may not know the vaccination status of each person. If you are vaccinated but have unvaccinated children, know that “we just have to be careful when we are around them,” Stewart said. “Wash our hands, wash their hands, use the masks.”

Create ways to help your children remember how safe they are, such as setting up chairs as “physical reminders that going beyond this is more than 6 feet,” said Regina Davis Moss, assistant CEO of health policy and practices of the American Public. Health Association.

Tips for unvaccinated adults, grandparents and children

For unvaccinated people who want to visit unvaccinated extended family, virtual gatherings are still best. However, if you are unvaccinated and choose to visit unvaccinated family, everyone should be outdoors, wearing masks and staying at least 6 feet apart.

How Vaccinated Grandparents Should Approach Visitors Dear Now - Advice From Dr.  Wen
Whether you are indoors or outdoors, you are more likely to contract or spread coronavirus when in close contact with humans for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, the CDC has said. Therefore, consider the amount of time you spend together and what types of activities you also do, said Krystal Pollitt, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health and an assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering at the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science. In addition to being spread by respiratory droplets, coronavirus can also transmit through air.

“Maybe avoid a meal indoors, but still do it outdoors,” Pollitt suggested. This applies to vaccinated persons who visit unvaccinated people – who are at greater risk of serious disease or death from coronavirus – and unvaccinated in general.

Fully vaccinated grandparents can visit a household with unvaccinated children and grandchildren at a time, indoors and unmasked, if neither of them is at high risk for serious illness.

Grandparents who want to see unvaccinated grandchildren from different households “should see the grandchildren separately or do it all outdoors” to reduce the risk, said CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at George Washington. University Milken Institute School of Public Health. “They should not mix them indoors.”


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