New CDC guidance offers freedom for the vaccinated — 3/8/21

Credit: Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released long-awaited guidance Monday on how to stay safe even after vaccination. The agency says fully vaccinated people can gather safely indoors without masks with other fully vaccinated people or “low-risk” unvaccinated people from the same household. But it recommends vaccinated people continue to wear masks when they go out in public. And the CDC still says that travel should be avoided until broader immunity is established. Meanwhile, Wisconsin news organizations look back on one year of the pandemic — people lost, careers and education disrupted, lives upended — and a few bright spots. 

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Numbered swatches of fabric, each representing a death from COVID-19 in the state, hang as part of a memorial display at Trinity Methodist Church in Madison. Almost 6,500 Wisconsinites have died of the disease since it upended daily life in the state a year ago this week. Credit: John Hart / Wisconsin State Journal

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“The CDC is missing a major opportunity to tie vaccination status with reopening guidance. By coming out with such limited guidance, they are missing the window to influence state and national policy.”

Dr. Lena Wen, emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, in a statement to the AP criticizing the CDC guidance as too cautious

Data to note

Here’s a look at the Department of Health Services’ vaccine dashboard, which showed Wednesday that 61.7% of Wisconsinites ages 65 and older have gotten at least one dose — as have 18.4% of the state’s overall population. Racial disparities persist in distributing vaccines. The shares of Black, Hispanic and Native American residents to receive a dose remain below that of white residents.   

Public health officials continue to urge Wisconsinites to wear masks and practice physical distancing until vaccinations are more widely distributed. 

The state’s seven-day average positivity rate continues to drop. As of Monday, the rate was 2.2% — a rate not seen since the early days of the pandemic in 2020. DHS reported 178 new infections and no new deaths Monday.  

WisContext offers this visualization. 

Find a vaccine site near you

DHS has this interactive map of vaccine providers across Wisconsin. Vaccinations are generally by appointment only and it may take time to schedule appointments with providers due to limited supplies of vaccines. 

Resilient Wisconsin

People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us:

Rev. Marcus Allen at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, which he’s kept closed since March 2020. Credit: Amber Arnold / Wisconsin State Journal

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New CDC guidance offers freedom for the vaccinated — 3/8/21 is a post from, a non-profit investigative news site covering Wisconsin since 2009. Please consider making a contribution to support our journalism.

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