March 16, 2021

UW Health Reminds Public Mask Wearing, Other Measures, Need To Continue After Vaccination

Madison, Wisconsin - More Wisconsinites are receiving a COVID-19 vaccine shot every day, but the pandemic is still far from over, according to UW Health.

It is critical that Wisconsinites follow hospital and public health measures like mask wearing and physical distancing in many situations, as they remain necessary to moving past this pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control recently announced that those who have been fully vaccinated (two weeks after final dose) may gather indoors without a mask, but in hospital settings or in public, those who have been fully vaccinated must still adhere to public health measures.

The three currently authorized vaccines for emergency use in the United States are extremely effective in preventing hospitalization and death, but it may still be possible to become infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and not have any symptoms. It’s still unknown if it is possible for vaccinated people to spread it to those who have not been vaccinated, according to the CDC.

Because of this unknown, it is important that those who have been vaccinated continue to wear a mask, physically distance and wash your hands frequently, said Dr. Jeff Pothof, chief quality officer, UW Health.

"We all want to end this pandemic as soon as possible, but until we are all fully vaccinated, we must treat the threat as very real for now," he said.

This means that when visiting the hospital or clinic for an appointment, going to the grocery store or visiting family outside your household or bubble, members of the public must still wear a mask.

"Vaccines are the best tool we have to get us out of this mess, but the public health measures we all know about will help accelerate this process and hasten the end of this pandemic, especially wearing a mask," Pothof said.

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