With an increasing number of caregivers and patients now vaccinated, it’s important to remember that everyone still needs to continue to follow COVID-19 safety practices, including wearing PPE, even after being vaccinated.
While those who have been vaccinated are much less likely to become infected with COVID-19, we do not yet know if they can carry the virus and spread disease, how long the vaccine will last, or how effective the vaccines may be against emerging variants.
For those reasons, and to stay in line with CDC recommendations, we will continue our current PPE and other safety protocols until further notice. Receiving the vaccine in combination with wearing a mask, frequent handwashing and social distancing is the best way to protect yourself and those around you.
What we know:
- People who have been vaccinated are much less likely to become infected with COVID-19 (94-95% effective)
- People who have been vaccinated and will had COVID-19 are less likely to have severe disease
What we don’t know yet:
- If people who have been vaccinated can still carry virus and spread disease
- How long the vaccine will last
- If the variants that are emerging will continue to be prevented by the vaccine
- If vaccine might be less effective in some populations (i.e., immunocompromised)
- The efficacy of a single dose of vaccine
Questions on “double masking”
Recently, some public health experts have recommended double masking to help slow the spread as the number of highly transmissible coronavirus variants grows. The idea is that wearing two face masks can help with filtration efficiency and provide a securer fit to the face. While we know that to be important, there is no significant evidence at this time that double masking is recommended.
As a result, we are maintaining our current protocols at this time pending new guidance from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or the CDC. We will continue to provide surgical masks to patients and visitors at point of entry when available.
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