COVID-19 Updates: CDC Mask Guidelines, Tips for Travel and MoreJune 17, 2021
Today, all of our members will be receiving the below email, which contains important information about CDC mask guidelines, safe travel tips and the importance of preventive screenings and routine care in honor of Men’s Health Month. We also sent a similar email, with the same information, to all of our employer groups.
As always, if you have any questions, please contact us at BrokerServices@healthalliance.org or by calling (877) 917-8489.
“A lot has happened since our last monthly COVID-19 email update. The sense of optimism continues to grow, and we remind you to get the vaccine if you still haven’t done so. Here’s some of the latest information and guidance.
CDC Mask Updates
In recent weeks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made significant updates to its guidance for people who are fully vaccinated. Note: You’re considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after you receive your final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC’s updates include new guidance for mask-wearing. Fully vaccinated people can, as the CDC states, “resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic … without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.” It’s also important to note that this guidance does not apply to healthcare facilities. Patients, visitors and healthcare personnel need to continue wearing masks inside hospitals, doctors’ offices and all healthcare buildings.
Tips for Safe Travel
The CDC strongly recommends against travel until you’re fully vaccinated. However, they’ve issued travel guidance for both those who’ve gotten the vaccine and those who haven’t. Below are some highlights, and find the complete guidance here for travel within the U.S. and internationally.
- Do not travel if you’re sick, have been exposed to COVID-19, test positive for COVID-19 or are waiting for results from a COVID-19 test.
- All individuals – even those fully vaccinated – need to wear a mask when traveling by plane, bus, train or any other form of public transportation within the U.S., and when entering and leaving the country.
- Unvaccinated people need to keep wearing their masks in all public settings and when around anyone who doesn’t live in their household. They should also avoid crowds and practice proper social distancing.
- Before all travel, unvaccinated people should get tested for COVID-19 one to three days before their trip.
- Before traveling internationally, all individuals should check the current status of the pandemic in the countries they’re traveling to – visit this CDC webpage. Also make sure you understand and follow all requirements, rules and laws – of both the airlines and the places you’re visiting – in terms of mask wearing, testing, quarantine, travel and more. Many requirements will be different from those in the U.S.
- During and after all travel, all individuals should self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. Fully vaccinated people: if you notice symptoms, get tested and isolate yourself. Unvaccinated people: no matter what – even if you don’t have any symptoms – you should still get tested three to five days after returning home and self-quarantine at your home for the first full week after getting back, even if you test negative.
- For international travel by air, all individuals re-entering the U.S. – even those fully vaccinated – are required to have (and show proof of) a negative COVID-19 test result from the last three days (prior to your flight’s departure back home), or show documentation of recovery from COVID-19 within the past three months. Find the complete information and full requirements here.
Men’s Health Month
Unfortunately, the pandemic has led some people to skip their regular doctor appointments, checkups and preventive screenings. With June being Men’s Health Month, we want to remind all men to ask your doctor about the tests and screenings you need, based on your age and health condition – and then make sure you get them. Simple tests can detect or prevent colon cancer, heart issues, prostate cancer, diabetes, HIV, mental health concerns and more. Talk to your doctor today, and call the number on the back of your member ID card for any questions about what your health plan covers. All this is important advice for women too. Prevention and early detection can make all the difference.
To all our readers, remember that we’re always here for you and your family. Give us a call at the number on the back of your member ID card, and visit our webpage for more information about COVID-19. We’re honored to be your trusted health plan.”