With Memorial Day approaching, you may be wondering what COVID-19 precautions are necessary when celebrating with friends and family.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cleared things up during a White House COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky said if you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you can pretty much celebrate the holiday like you would any other year.
"Here are the important points to remember going into Memorial Day weekend,” said Walensky. “If you are vaccinated, you're protected, and you can enjoy your Memorial Day.”
However, if you haven’t been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, Walensky says you remain at risk of infection, so you should continue to wear a face covering and take other precautions.
“If you are not vaccinated, our guidance has not changed for you. You remain at risk of infection. You still need to mask and take other precautions,” said Walensky.
The CDC director also took the chance to encourage those who haven’t been vaccinated to get the shot to protect those around them and help return some normalcy to the U.S.
“And if you are not vaccinated, I want to encourage you to take this holiday weekend to give your yourself and your family, the gift of protection by getting vaccinated,” said Walensky.
As of Tuesday, 50% of U.S. adults had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and more than 61% of U.S. adults had received at least one dose, according to the CDC’s vaccine tracker. The Biden administration’s goal is to have 70% of U.S. adults have at least one shot by July 4.
The guidance marks a major change of pace for the CDC. For the past year, the agency cautioned Americans to avoid gathering for holidays, leaving people unable to celebrate with their loved ones. Memorial Day is the first holiday for many where they can celebrate normally.