Doctors: Certain situations do not require wearing a mask if you’re fully vaccinated

Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 4:19 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Doctors at both UVA Health and Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital say it’s safe in certain situations to get rid of your face mask if you’ve been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

“I’ve been fully vaccinated and I’ve been meeting up indoors with family members who are also fully vaccinated and having dinner with them in a private setting,” Patrick Jackson, infectious disease doctor at UVA Health, said. “I also have been meeting up indoors with family members who are not fully vaccinated, but who are at low risk of COVID-19.”

Andrea Chapman, an infection preventionist at SMJH, agrees: “If you are now fully vaccinated, you’re 14 days out from completing that vaccination or vaccination series then there are some relaxation that can happen while you’re in the community,” Chapman said. “You can be mask-less - without your mask - among other vaccinated individuals. So, for example, having a small dinner party with another family that’s vaccinated.”

Jackson and Chapman both hope folks eventually won’t need to mask up before heading out.

“I think fundamentally that those mask requirements will be going away,” Jackson said. “For the time being, it makes sense having those broader requests that people wear masks in public.”

Jackson says as more people continue to get vaccinated, we should start to see COVID-19 cases drop in the community and that’s when we will be able to safely get rid of mask mandates.

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