Midstate doctors on new CDC guidance: It only applies to a small percentage of the population

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Douglas Ockrymiek from East Hempfield Township is one of those people considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“It seems to feel like we’re getting through this and we’re moving to a better place,” Ockrymiek said of getting vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control now says people like Ockrymiek, those who are fully vaccinated, are okay to gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing.

“The key is that this is for a very small subset of the population,” Dr. Mark Goedecker, a regional medical director with Wellspan Health, said.

Health officials still stress those vaccinated wear masks, avoid large gatherings, and socially distance in public.

“When you look at the state of Pennsylvania 17% of people have received one vaccine and only 8% are fully vaccinated,” Godecker said. “So when you think about the need to get to 60 or 70% to get to what we call herd immunity, we still have a long way to go.”

While some states are easing COVID-19 mitigation orders, Goedecker said loosening all guidelines would be a mistake.

“If people go out the virus is still there,” he cautioned. “We know there are variants out there and they are spreading easier, that’s what the research is telling us. There’s definitely a possibility that you could have another resurgence of this of COVID-19.”

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