ROSEBURG, Ore. – Douglas County public health officials are reacting to the latest guidance for fully vaccinated people released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can:
- Visit other vaccinated people indoors without masks or physical distancing
- Visit indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household without masks or physical distancing if the unvaccinated people are at low risk for severe disease
- Skip quarantine and testing if exposed to someone who has COVID-19 -- but are asymptomatic -- but should monitor for symptoms for 14 days
However, the CDC also recommends that fully vaccinated people still wear a mask in public because not everyone is vaccinated yet.
“We really want to decrease the number of cases because by decreasing the number of cases, we can decrease the number of hospitalizations and deaths,” said Douglas County public health officer Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer.
Dannenhoffer said these recommendations come at a great time as vaccine rollout continues throughout the county and the state. He said the science suggests that those who are fully vaccinated are less likely to catch or spread COVID-19.
“The vaccine gives great protection,” he said. “So it really is an encouragement to get the vaccine.”
He said his only concern is COVID-19 variants like the Brazilian variant they found in Douglas County las week. Even though there isn’t enough data to prove this yet, Dannenhoffer said there is a chance the current variants will be resistant to the vaccine.
“If the variant spreads, then we may need to reconsider,” said Dannenhoffer. “That’s why the variants are the big wild card right now.”
However, he said this should not keep people from getting the vaccine.
Some Douglas County residents told KEZI 9 News that they’re glad the CDC is starting ease up on mask guidance. They said this may be the first step in getting back to normal.
“If people are being vaccinated at the rate that they say they are and things are being lifted and they say things are going to be okay, I say go for it,” said Josh McDonald.
Other residents said they will not be easing up on wearing masks, just to be safe.
“We should wait I think myself,” said Robert Hadwen. “We’re pushing it, we’re trying to get over it but I don’t think we’re going to this easily.”
KEZI 9 News reached out to the Oregon Health Authority about how they’ll adapt to the new CDC recommendations.
They said they’re still reviewing it.
However, they want to stress the importance of continuing to wear a mask, social distance and staying away from large crowds.