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As COVID-19 vaccine distribution is becoming more widespread in California, there is hopeful news for employees that hints at eased restrictions for vaccinated people in order to facilitate a return to the workplace.

From the Cal-OSHA Reporter as of March 8, 2021:

Flash Report: CDC: Vaccinated May Gather Without Masks

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced that it is easing person-to-person COVID restrictions for fully vaccinated people.

As employees continue to get vaccinated, the tight Cal/OSHA emergency temporary standard restrictions may seriously fly in the face of the federal easing. For now, CDC is advising people to follow workplace guidance on COVID protections. But “Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” the agency says.

CDC says if you have been fully vaccinated, you can gather indoors with others who are also completely inoculated – those who have had both shots – without wearing masks. You can also gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household without masks unless any of those people or anyone they live with is at high risk of contracting COVID.

The fully vaccinated do not need to stay away from others or get tested if they have been around another person with COVID-19 “unless you have symptoms.” CDC says there is increasing evidence that fully vaccinated people are less likely to transmit COVID than others.

The agency cautions that fully vaccinated people in congregate settings such as correctional facilities or group homes who are exposed to positive cases should still quarantine for 14 days and get tested “even if you don’t have symptoms.