Island Senior: I’m Vaccinated, Now What?
“Island Senior” is a regular column on the San Juan Update written by Peggy Sue McRae.
It’s been a little confusing lately. Just as some of us have had our vaccines and given them a few weeks to sink in, San Juan Island has experienced a surge in positive Covid cases.
According to San Juan County Health San Juan Island is currently monitoring 12 positive cases. Of these cases, nine relate to a recent school athletics-based outbreak. More than 100 islanders are now in quarantine.
Our local contact tracing team has been hard at work and hopefully between their efforts and the cooperation of the many islanders who answered a high volume of questions the disease has been contained.
It could be a few weeks though before we know if this was an isolated outbreak or if spring break travels and relaxed precautions will lead to more similar outbreaks.
Then there are the new variants of the disease. They spread more easily and, again according to SJCounty Health, “Likely the new variants are here or will be soon.” In other words, we don’t know but we’d best proceed on the side of caution.
All signs say to remain vigilant and cautious but again, what about those of us who have had the vaccine? According to the CDC, Center for Disease Control and Prevention:
Fully vaccinated people can:
- Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic
- Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
- Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.
For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:
- Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
- Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
- Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
- Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
- Follow guidance issued by individual employers
- Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations
As they say, “We are not out of the woods yet.” Keep your masks handy. Meanwhile, enjoy small dinner parties and big bear hugs with your fellow vaccinated friends!