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CDC: Fully vaccinated people don't need to quarantine after COVID-19 exposure

The CDC said fully vaccinated people can skip quarantining if they meet certain criteria, including that it's within 3 months of finishing the vaccine series.

WASHINGTON — People who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 may be able to skip quarantining if they're exposed to someone infected with the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

Federal guidelines have typically recommended staying home for 14 days after you last had contact with someone who has COVID-19. 

But in updated guidance posted on its website, the CDC said fully vaccinated individuals can skip quarantining if they meet certain criteria.

The criteria include that a person doesn't have any COVID-19 symptoms since the exposure and that they are fully vaccinated (meaning it's been at least 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series like Pfizer and Moderna, or more than 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine.) 

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Because it's still unknown how long COVID-19 vaccines offer protection, the third criteria is that a person is within three months of the last dose in the immunization series. 

"These quarantine recommendations for vaccinated persons, including the criteria for timing since receipt of the last dose in the vaccination series, will be updated when more data become available and additional COVID-19 vaccines are authorized," the CDC said on its website

If a fully vaccinated person meets all the criteria and does not quarantine, they should still closely watch for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after they've been exposed. 

Public health officials have stressed it's still important for those who are fully vaccinated to continue to wear masks and follow other prevention precautions.

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