World From Social Distancing to Getting Tested After Vaccination: A Timeline of CDC Guidances
As the pandemic wears on, some Americans could need booster shots
Some health officials now think a third shot could help older and immunocompromised people. Israel is already offering a third Pfizer shot for immunocompromised residents — though millions of Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have yet to be vaccinated — and Pfizer has previously suggested that a booster shot could be needed in the US. Regulatory questions abound Though the US currently has tens of millions of surplus Covid-19 vaccine doses on hand, making a third Pfizer or Moderna shot available to millions of immunocompromised or elderly Americans likely won’t be a quick process.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, with the highly contagious Delta variant and low vaccination rates being attributed as the main cause in a rising number of COVID-19 cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new guidance on Tuesday telling people vaccinated for COVID to get tested for the virus if they've been in contact with someone who has it.
The guidance is the latest in a series of measures implemented by thein an attempt to combat the spread of the coronavirus. According to information compiled by Our World in Data, the U.S. alone has recorded 34.9 million cases since the pandemic first spiked in March, 2020.
How CDC mask guidance has changed in recent months
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday recommended that even vaccinated people go back to wearing masks while indoors amid as the coronavirus delta variant sweeps the U.S. The guidance was a seemingly abrupt reversal from guidance the agency issued in April when it eased mask-wearing guidelines for the outdoors. Under those recommendations, Americans who were fully vaccinated did not have to cover their faces unless they were in large crowds.
Since then, Americans have seen mask mandates, social distancing and self quarantine guidelines implemented and adjusted by the CDC as the pandemic continued.
Here is a brief timeline into the guidances issued by the CDC over the course of the pandemic, as well as their changes.
Though the CDC had not yet declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic, the American Journal of Managed Care [AJMC] reported health officials had already suggested the idea of social distancing should the virus begin spreading the U.S.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, encouraged the use of telehealth services to prevent unnecessary contact. Additionally, those traveling to the U.S. from China's Hubei province were required to quarantine for 14 days.
Mask mandates pour in nationwide after CDC revises guidance for vaccinated people
New mask mandates and rules cascaded Tuesday and Wednesay following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance that vaccinated people in high-transmission areas should still wear masks indoors, bringing back pandemic health restrictions for many Americans. "I have stuck with CDC guidance throughout the pandemic and today is no different," Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Quinton Lucas tweeted Tuesday night. "I will return Kansas City to a mask mandate indoors based upon national and regional health guidance and discussion with other Kansas City leaders.
The CDC also urged the public to receive the flu vaccine if they had not already, as similarities between the illnesses could warrant a possible unnecessary evaluation for the virus, the AJMC reported.
In a Tweet that has been since deleted, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams urged the public against buying masks, claiming they were ineffective at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
"Seriously people — STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can't get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!" Adams wrote.
The CDC's guidelines stated that healthy people not working in the healthcare sector and were not taking care of an infected person at home did not need to wear masks.
The World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020.
Chicago May Go Beyond Mask Mandates, Implement Past Restrictions if COVID Cases Rise
A formal announcement could come next week, according to Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady.City officials lifted the mask requirement for fully vaccinated individuals in May, following revised guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, with cases rising and the release of new CDC advice, the city could follow in the footsteps of several other areas and reimplement mitigation measures to slow the spread of the Delta variant.
The CDC issued advisories to practice social distancing when in public, asking citizens to only go out for necessities and to self-quarantine for 14 days if they come in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.
California became the first state to issue a "stay at home" order on March 19, with other states following suit.
Dr., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke on a Journal of the American Medical Association [JAMA] webcast about the virus, as well as different methods to prevent transmission such as self-isolating.
The CDC retracted its previous warnings against buying or wearing masks, instead encouraging the general public to wear masks, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The change in guidances was made after discovering the virus was spreading through people who had the virus, but were not displaying symptoms.
"The transmission from individuals without symptoms is playing a more significant role in the spread of the virus than previously understood," then-Presidenntsaid at a White House briefing. "So you don't seem to have symptoms and it still gets transferred."
Liberals from White House to Hawaii push for mask mandates but data is underwhelming
Democratic leaders from the White House down are mulling or enacting new coronavirus mask mandates following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – even as new infections vary widely in different areas. The new guidance recommends masks indoors in communities reporting at least 50 new cases per 100,000 people in a seven-day span. Data from Johns Hopkins University shows there are such hot spots across the U.S., but especially in Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana. But it was Hawaii, Nevada and Washington, D.C., that had indoor mask mandates in place for fully vaccinated individuals as of Friday.
Mask guidelines recommended masks for people ages 2 and older who were in public, traveling or around people from their household who had tested positive for the virus.
As states began lifting stay at home orders in an attempt to reopen the economy, the CDC reiterated its guidelines for wearing masks to help curb the spread of the virus.
In a study published by the CDC, it was found that two hair stylists in Springfield, Missouri, had tested positive for COVID-19. Both the stylists and their clients wore masks, and there was found to be no spread of the virus between them.
Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, endorsed universal masking in a press release.
"We are not defenseless against COVID-19," Redfield said. "Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus—particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities."
As schools began reopening, the CDC issued guidelines to help prevent the spread of the virus between students and teachers through limiting attendance and having all adults wear face masks.
Color-coded guidelines were officially released on September 15 to give schools an idea of when it would be safe to reopen. The guidelines also offer advice such as keeping desks apart, eating meals in the classrooms and staggering scheduling to limit contact.
Conservative reaction pours in after Dem mayors, governors impose new mask mandates: 'Kiss my mask'
Democratic leaders around the country are facing criticism and blowback after they rushed to reimpose unpopular mask mandates following updated coronavirus guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC said this week that even vaccinated individuals in areas deemed as high-risk should return to wearing masks indoors – prompting the new wave in face-covering requirements. But the mandates are unpopular for numerous reasons. Some say the masks irritate them or hinder their breathing.
The newest guidance from the CDC required all citizens to wear proper face coverings while on public transportation, including buses and subways.
The mask order included guidelines for transport operators to only allow passengers on if they wear a proper face mask, and classified refusing to wear a mask on public transport a violation of federal law.
Approximately one year after the coronavirus was declared a pandemic, new CDC guidelines stated fully vaccinated people were no longer required to wear masks while indoors at small gatherings.
"We know that people want to get vaccinated so they can get back to doing the things they enjoy with the people they love," said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky. "There are some activities that fully vaccinated people can begin to resume now in their own homes. Everyone—even those who are vaccinated—should continue with all mitigation strategies when in public settings. As the science evolves and more people get vaccinated, we will continue to provide more guidance to help fully vaccinated people safely resume more activities."
People who are fully vaccinated were told they could refrain from social distancing indoors at small gatherings, and did not need to quarantine after coming in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.
The CDC updated guidelines for fully vaccinated people, saying they could freely go anywhere indoors or outdoors without wearing a mask or practicing social distancing, CNBC reported.
New York City issues vaccine mandate for indoor events, confuses entire country
New York City will soon require that people show proof of vaccination to eat indoors and go to concerts, but it’s not launching another app.The initiative marks the first time a major US city has issued a vaccine mandate like this, and it immediately confused the public.
"Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing," Walensky said during a press briefing. "If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. We have all longed for this moment, when we can get back to some sense of normalcy."
In accordance with the new guidelines, many businesses began allowing vaccinated customers to forgo their masks. Masks were still required for fully vaccinated individuals when traveling on public transportation.
New guidelines from the CDC have been issued, telling people to get tested for the virus, even if they're vaccinated.
The CDC said people who are fully vaccinated should get tested for the virus three to five days after being in contact with someone who has COVID, even if they aren't displaying symptoms, the Associated Press reported.
Masks were also encouraged, even for fully vaccinated individuals, to help curb the spread of the Delta variant. Many states are also re-implemented mask mandates, regardless of vaccination status.
Why Did the CDC Stop Counting Mild and Asymptomatic 'Breakthrough' COVID Cases? .
On May 1, the CDC decided to start tracking only the most severe COVID-19 cases. Two months later, the Delta variant started causing outbreaks amongst vaccinated people.On May 1, the CDC announced it would transition "from monitoring all reported vaccine breakthrough cases to focus on identifying and investigating only hospitalized or fatal cases due to any cause.