(WGGB/WSHM) -- Nearly a year after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, there's now new guidance out for people fully vaccinated against the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now outlined circumstances when face coverings and social distancing may not be necessary.
This new CDC guidance gives us a glimpse into how we will ease back into a sense of normalcy.
"This is really a testament to the progress of science,” said Armando Paez, chief of infectious diseases at Baystate Health.
Paez added that the new guidance for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 shows just how far the medical community has come in solving problems as big as a global pandemic.
On Monday, the CDC said fully vaccinated people can now gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without masks or distancing.
New guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say people fully vaccinated against Covid-19 can safely visit with other…
They can also gather with a single household of unvaccinated people without masks or distancing, provided that household is low risk for serious COVID-19 complications.
Fully vaccinated people also don't need to quarantine or test after a known exposure if there are no symptoms present.
Paez explained that that a person is considered fully vaccinated “two weeks after the second dose of the mRNA vaccines, that's Pfizer and Moderna and at least two weeks after Johnson and Johnson.”
Western Mass News spoke with Springfield city officials about what needs to happen next.
“I would say that I am hopeful that the state of Massachusetts will adopt the CDC guidance and that we can get our residents in line to adhere,” said Springfield Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris.
The CDC is still encouraging vaccinated people to wear masks in public, outside of small gatherings.
“Until we get to herd immunity, it’s not going to kill you to wear a mask,” said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.
Not everyone is comforted by the CDC’s news.
“’This is going to take care of this, but you can do this,' I don’t agree with it because if you don’t have something to really cure this pandemic going on, how are you just gonna say 'You can go ahead and do this?’” said Luis Ocasio of Springfield.
For others, Paez believes it could be a return to activities that may have been put on the backburner for a year.
“With this guidance, grandparents now can visit their grandchildren,” Paez added.
The one thing that is going to speed this along is getting more people vaccinated.