After a year of pandemic lockdowns, the country is slowly returning to normal. Vaccination rates are increasing, COVID-19 rates are declining nationwide, and the CDC health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci are talking have loosened previously non-negotiable guidelines like wearing masks indoors in public places. But there's one thing the CDC says you shouldn't do, even after being fully vaccinated: Attend large gatherings. Read on for four slides about where it's safest to go—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Caught COVID and Maybe Didn't Know It.
What, Exactly, is a Large Gathering?
According to the CDC, "Large gatherings bring together many people from multiple households in a private or public space. Large gatherings are often planned events with a large number of guests and invitations. They sometimes involve lodging, event staff, security, tickets, and long-distance travel. CDC's large events guidance might apply to events such as conferences, trade shows, sporting events, festivals, concerts, or large weddings and parties."
Why is the CDC Still Warning Against Them?
On its website under the section "Large gatherings," which was updated on May 6, the CDC warns that "COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are high across the United States."
"To decrease your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19, CDC recommends that you do not gather with people who do not live with you at this time. Attending events and gatherings increases your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. Stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19."
What Gatherings are OK?
The CDC updated it's guidance this week.
"If you've been fully vaccinated," they say:
"You can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.
You can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
If you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
You need to pay close attention to the situation at your international destination before traveling outside the United States.
You do NOT need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it.
You still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding an international flight to the United States.
You should still get tested 3-5 days after international travel.
You do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.
If you've been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
However, if you live or work in a correctional or detention facility or a homeless shelter and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still get tested, even if you don't have symptoms."
How to Get Through the Rest of This Pandemic Safely
As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.