Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors or in most indoor settings, according to updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS.) Fully vaccinated people should still wear well-fitted masks where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
The Trempealeau County Health Department supports businesses who continue to require anyone who enters their premises to wear a mask and updated signs can be found here. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated to protect yourself and others. For information on local vaccine clinics, visit www.vaccines.gov or our website.
This updated guidance reflects scientific consensus on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against circulating strains of the virus. Studies show that vaccines are more than 90-percent effective in real-world settings in preventing disease, hospitalization, and death. If there is a surge or other variants emerge, there is always a chance we may need to change the recommendations. But we know that the more people are vaccinated, the less cases we will have and the less chance of a new spike or additional variants emerging.
With these guidance updates, there are important exceptions where everyone, including those who are fully vaccinated, should continue to wear a mask. Mask wearing should continue in health care settings, K-12 schools, correctional and detention facilities, homeless shelters, and public transportation. Additionally, those who are not yet vaccinated should continue to wear masks and physically distance in public. People with weakened immune systems or those with additional questions should consult their health care provider about whether to discontinue mask wearing and physical distancing.
Fully vaccinated people can also refrain from testing and quarantine following a known exposure unless they are residents or employees of a correctional or detention facility or a homeless shelter or develop any symptoms of COVID-19. A person is considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if it has been two or more weeks since they received the second dose in a two-dose series (such as Pfizer or Moderna), or one dose of a single-dose vaccine (such as Johnson & Johnson).