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'Great to get back into the world again': Wisconsin residents encouraged by CDC's updated COVID-19 guidance

Posted at 5:37 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 18:40:15-05

MILWAUKEE -- The Centers for Disease Control's latest guidelines for people to follow who's been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is giving people hope that better days are just on the horizon.

"I can't wait to really reengage with society again and go out to eat, enjoy a movie, the theater, I'm really looking forward to that," said Michael Flaherty.

Michael Flaherty says it's been hard the past year not being able to visit friends and family.

"I felt kind of isolated, so it's been tough, I'm an extrovert by nature," said Flaherty.

The CDC announced Monday that people like Michael, who are fully vaccinated, can visit with others indoors who are also fully vaccinated without having to wear a mask or social distance.

"That is for the most part a pretty safe thing to do. The likelihood that those people could make each other sick is essentially zero," said Dr. Jeff Pothof, Health Chief Quality Officer for UW Health.

Officials say a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last dose of a vaccine.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, nearly one in three adults over the age of 65 is fully vaccinated in the state. Here's where some southeast Wisconsin counties stand: In Ozaukee County, 32% of that age group is fully vaccinated, compared to 26% in Racine County and 24% in Milwaukee County.

"I've had my second shot as of two weeks ago, it went very easily, I got the Pfizer shot," said Flaherty.

Michael says with updated guidelines allowing him to visit an unvaccinated person without putting them at risk, he's ready to get his life back.

"The first thing I'm going to do is get on a plane and fly to see my sister in Los Angeles. It's sort of great to get back into the world again," said Flaherty.

CDC officials add that vaccinated individuals will also not be required to quarantine or get a test if they've been exposed to COVID-19 as long as they are asymptomatic.

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Coronavirus in Wisconsin

More data on Wisconsin's vaccination progress here.

Find a vaccination site here.

Check out county-by-county coronavirus case numbers here.

More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

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