Professor Lewis Nelson, chair of emergency medicine at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, is available to discuss the latest guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for fully vaccinated people.

"One of the driving forces behind getting vaccinated is the promise of a return to normalcy, and given the known safety of transmitting COVID-19 when outdoors, this change seems like an initial and small step to keeping that hope alive," said Nelson. "Since being vaccinated provides nearly complete protection from consequential illness following exposure to the virus, vaccinated people should not feel at risk when congregating maskless outdoors.

"It is still not clear if vaccinated people can carry and transmit COVID-19 to non-vaccinated or immunocompromised people, but available data suggest that this risk is very small. I'll caution that in these situations, masks should still be worn. It is fully appropriate to progress in baby steps and assess the outcomes of each change. While this is not the approach taken across the nation, the full results of each variation in opening up are not yet known and may not be comparable across regions."



Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) takes an integrated approach to educating students, providing clinical care and conducting research, all with the goal of improving human health. Aligned with Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and collaborating university-wide, RBHS includes eight schools, a behavioral health network and four centers and institutes. RBHS offers an outstanding education in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, public health, nursing, biomedical research and the full spectrum of allied health careers. RBHS clinical and academic facilities are located throughout the state.