Local officials concerned about new CDC guidelines

SOUTH BEND, Ind.--The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their first set of rules for folks who are fully vaccinated and how they can visit safely with others. 

The guidelines, backed by scientific evidence, say people who are vaccinated can visit one another indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing. If you aren’t showing COVID symptoms after contact with someone who is positive, to refrain from quarantining and testing. 

“So not multiple households. We’re not saying go crazy, they’re not saying go to large gatherings unmasked. So, they're still advocating a relatively small bubble but it’s certainly the first time the training wheels come off,” St. Joseph County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox said. 

While the new guidelines are showing a hopeful sneak peek into more normal lifestyles, the guidelines also are showing some concern. 

I think it could lead people to be overconfident. People may misapply some of the guidance so that’s certainly concern,” Dr. Fox said. 

“I think there’s a cautious optimism there too with it. If I talk to the business owners, they relive in their head a little bit what happened last year. If you remember in May we had our back on track plan and everyone was feeling good, and by July 4th everything would go back to normal and everything did get back to some normalcy, and then we had a big spike afterwards,” South Bend Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Jeff Rea said. 

These concerns, mainly rooting from a business standpoint, especially since Spring Break and St. PatrickDay is right around the corner. 

We don’t want folks showing up in a business and causing any kind of confrontation there because I’m vaccinated, I don’t need to wear a mask...the CDC was very specific about where the setting was and suggestion is you should still wear them if you’re out in public or at a business or something like that,” Rea said. 

Even if you are vaccinated, doesn’t mean you're in the clear. 

“The other piece of it and I think it’s important for people understand is Even here in our county, we have a small handful of confirmed Covid positive cases in people who are fully vaccinated,” Dr. Fox said. 

However, despite difficult hurdles businesses have facedthese more laxed-guidelines aren’t so concerning to others. 

“I am not concerned. The CDC is suggesting that mask wearing could be relax somewhat for those who are vaccinated. I’m not concerned,” Navarre Hospitality Group Owner Kurt Janowsky said. “Everybody knows the deal and if they still want to, knowing the deal, come to a restaurant or an event at one of our venues or banquets, I think they should be allowed to do that!” 

Janowsky said he’s actually eagerly waiting for even more lax restrictions to come to the county. 

“We’ve been at it a year and I am advocating for a relaxing, no I don’t get to choose but it doesn’t matter, but as soon as the governor relaxes any restrictions, we are going to go with those relaxations as soon as they happen!” 

For more information on the new CDC guidelines, you can go to their website or click here. 

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