Federal health officials on Monday told millions of Americans now vaccinated against the coronavirus that they could again embrace a few long-denied freedoms, like gathering in small groups at home without masks or social distancing, offering a hopeful glimpse at the next phase of the pandemic.
The recommendations, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, arrived almost exactly a year after the virus began strangling the country and Americans were warned against gatherings for fear of spreading the new pathogen.
Now the agency has good news for long-separated families and individuals struggling with pandemic isolation: Vaccinated grandparents can once again visit adult children and grandchildren under certain circumstances, even if they remain unvaccinated. Vaccinated adults may begin to plan mask-free dinners with vaccinated friends.
As cases and deaths decline nationwide, some state officials are rushing to reopen businesses and schools; governors in Texas and Mississippi have lifted statewide mask mandates. Federal health officials have repeatedly warned against loosening restrictions too quickly, fearing that the moves may set the stage for a fourth surge of infections and deaths.
had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and about 31.3 million had been fully vaccinated, according to a database maintained by The New York Times. Providers are administering about 2.17 million doses per day on average.
Mr. Biden has promised that there will be enough doses for every American adult by the end of May. C.D.C. officials on Monday encouraged people to be inoculated with the first vaccine available to them, emphasizing that the vaccines are highly effective at preventing “serious Covid-19 illness, hospitalization and death.”
scientists do not yet understand whether and how often immunized people may still transmit the virus. If they can, then masking and other precautions are still needed in certain settings to contain the virus, researchers have said.