More and more people are getting their COVID-19 vaccine shots in the Bitterroot Valley. After you've received the shots, when are you considered "fully" vaccinated and what are the official Centers for Disease Control guidances?

Ravalli County Public Health Director Tiffany Webber issued the CDC recommendations for those who have received their Pfizer or Moderna two-shot vaccines or the Johnson & Johnson Janssen one-shot vaccine:

  • You are fully immunized two weeks after your final shot (or single J&J Janssen shot).
  • You can safely gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask or social distancing.
  • You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household, provided none of the unvaccinated are at increased risk for severe illness (such as medical conditions or age.)
  • If you are exposed to COVID-19, you don't have to quarantine, provided you do not develop symptoms.

The recommendations will almost certainly change as the pandemic continues, so stay alert to new guidance. And, there are still precautions you need to take, even though you are fully vaccinated. Don't gather with unvaccinated people from more than one household, avoid large-sized gatherings, delay any domestic or international travel, follow the guidance of your workplace and - these rules have not changed - stay home if you're sick. Wear a mask in public and wash your hands often.

Webber said that Ravalli County Public Health reported 13 new COVID-19 cases this past week, with 34 open active cases they are monitoring. Public Health is following up the positive test results with education on how to stop the spread to the community. Vaccine is becoming more available, and Webber said that often the public can contact a pharmacy for available immunizations. The State of Montana is at Phase 1B and 1B plus in vaccine immunizations.

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