Health department discusses impact of new CDC guidelines on Jackson

JACKSON, Tenn. — Masks are no longer required for those fully vaccinated, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Officials with the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department shared their thoughts.

“Individuals who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear masks or physically social distance whenever they’re out and about and around people, so that means if you’re meeting friends or you’re at work or if you’re in a crowded place, you no longer have to wear a mask,” said Mallory Cooke, Public Information Officer for the health department.

Cooke says to keep in mind this guideline change does not apply everywhere.

“The CDC says you don’t have to wear a mask, but if it’s required by law or ordinance or a business wants you to wear a mask, they do have that right,” she said.

The mask requirement also will still be in place for patients at the health department.

“We’ve got a policy change for our staff here, so if you come to the health department, you’ll see staff who are fully vaccinated. They are no longer required to wear a mask, but we are requiring people who come to the health department to wear a mask,” Cooke said.

This is due to not being able to verify who is vaccinated or not. Cooke says it’s also important to know when you are considered fully vaccinated.

“If you get Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you’re not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after the second dose, and you’re not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after one dose of the J&J,” Cooke said.

Cooke says she hopes more people will now consider being vaccinated with the new change.

“This is an incentive to get vaccinated. We’ve been giving vaccines since December. There’s no excuse to not be vaccinated right now. We have plenty of vaccines available. We try to make it as easy as possible,” Cooke said.

Jackson resident, Walter Cross has just received his dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

He says he feels we can’t completely go back to normal until everyone is vaccinated, and he says he will wear his mask until then.

“I still look at is as, I need to protect myself and I’m around people that probably have not been vaccinated, don’t know if they’re going to be, so if I’m out and about at stores or whatever, I usually still wear my mask,” Cross said.

The health department is currently accepting walk-ins and appointments for COVID-19 vaccines.

To schedule an appointment online, click here.

If you do not have internet access, you can call the COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Line at 1-888-796-8894 to schedule an appointment.

For more information, call the Jackson-Madison County Public Information Line at (731) 240-1771.

Categories: COVID-19 Updates, Local News, News
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