Fully vaccinated Ohioans are getting a bit of a break in the state’s latest health orders, Gov. Mike DeWine said this week.
Residents who are fully vaccinated no longer have to quarantine after being exposed to someone who has COVID-19 unless symptoms develop, DeWine said. The state lifted the 14-day quarantine guidance upon advice from state and national health officials.
The order applies only to those who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a “fully vaccinated” person is one who is two weeks past their second dose of a two-dose vaccine (Pfizer and Moderna) or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen).
“Vaccine is our ticket out, it’s our ticket back, it’s our ticket to have more freedom, it’s our ticket to go live our lives,” DeWine said. “I hope this change will encourage more students and more of our young people to get the vaccine.”
COVID-19 vaccines are available to anyone age 16 and older in Ohio. People must be at least 16 for the Pfizer vaccine and 18 for the Moderna and J&J vaccines.
DeWine said that the revised order from Stephanie McCloud, director of the Ohio Department of Health, would be beneficial to high school students who play sports or are in extracurricular activities.
"One of the things that’s been very tough for them this past year is that if they were exposed outside of the classroom to someone, they had to quarantine,” DeWine said. “So by changing our health order...these young people who are vaccinated will be able to participate in sports and they will be able to participate in other activities, even though they may at some point in the future be exposed to someone who has COVID.”
The revised quarantine order does not apply to nursing homes, long-term care or congregate living facilities.
The order comes shortly after the CDC announced that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks outdoors, unless they’re in large groups or crowds.
DeWine said that he had not yet fully read the CDC's new guidance about masks and could not comment about any such changes in Ohio's guidance. He added that at first glance, the CDC's statements seemed to be similar to what Ohioans already were doing.