The CDC continues to emphasize the importance of the preventative measures we've all been taking for the past year against COVID-19. You know them well: Wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, stay at least 6 feet away from those outside your household, and avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.

Every day, more Americans receive their first or second vaccine, and according to the Associated Press, the U.S. is currently far ahead of its goal of 100 million doses within the first 100 days of President Biden's administration. In fact, with 2.5 million administered per day on average, the president has already bumped that goal up to 150 million, which may even end up being 200 million.

While that's good news overall, it doesn't address the questions of whether and how vaccinated adults can socialize with one another. According to the CDC, if you're fully vaccinated, meaning you received a one-dose vaccine or your second shot at least two weeks ago, you "may be able to start doing some things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic."

Vaccinated individuals are protected from severe illness and death related to COVID-19, and can now resume the following activities if they choose:

Gathering indoors

Being indoors together without wearing masks is now considered safe. You can socialize, eat, drink, and yes, even hug mask-free indoors with members of one other household at a time, provided nobody in question is at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19. The maximum number of people allowed differs from state to state (you can see a full list here), but the CDC continues to recommend against "medium to large-sized gatherings," particularly in situations where social distancing is not possible.

Those exposed to someone who tested positive in the past 14 days do not need to be tested or refrain from socializing. This excludes individuals who work in a group home setting or live with someone at high risk for severe illness.

It's still strongly recommended that fully vaccinated individuals continue to practice preventative measures in public, including wearing a mask, washing hands, social distancing, and avoiding being in enclosed spaces with others.

What we don't know

While these guidelines are informed by data sets from around the country, gray areas remain when it comes to social gatherings with other vaccinated people.

It's not yet known, for instance, how effective the current available vaccines are against identified COVID-19 variants of concern (like the U.K., Brazilian, and South African strains). We also don't know how long vaccines provide protection, as we head into the spring and summer holidays when people tend to gather.

What about travel?

It's recommended that vaccinated people continue to delay their travel plans indefinitely. Those who must travel by bus, train, or air should take steps to protect others, such as getting tested, participating in state-run contact tracing programs, maintaining 6 feet of space between themselves and anyone they're not traveling with, and quarantining for a week at each destination (10 days if forgoing testing).

Travelers are also urged to consider the behavior of those they'll encounter at their destination. According to the CDC, "...singing, shouting, not maintaining physical distancing, and not wearing masks consistently and correctly," can all increase the risk of infection.

Make a plan in case someone in your traveling party becomes infected, including assessing the capacity of hospitals at your destination. Though the United States risk assessment level remains at "very high," hospitalizations are on a downward trend. Bear in mind that vaccination is just one step (though a highly effective one) toward reducing the spread of disease and keeping your friends, family, and neighbors safe and healthy.

So you want to plan a gathering. Here's what the CDC says

Even if you are vaccinated, before planning a gathering, there are other factors to consider, from where your prospective gathering will take place, to whether others at the gathering are vaccinated. We spoke with Jasmine Reed, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Affairs Specialist, for recommendations for those who are as of yet unvaccinated, partially vaccinated from a two-dose vaccine, or fully vaccinated. Note: This conversation includes links to guidelines as of March 29, 2021, and are likely subject to change.

Food52: What are your thoughts on indoor versus outdoor gatherings from a COVID-19-safety perspective for those who are not yet vaccinated?

Jasmine Reed: The CDC would recommend that unvaccinated persons consider outdoor gatherings instead of indoor gatherings. See this link for current guidance.

Say you're considering having a gathering at a private residence with 10 people or fewer, from more than one household (number based on current New York State recommendations). In your opinion, what are the risks for unvaccinated people who gather — indoors and outdoors — with those who are not in their household?

To decrease the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19, even with a gathering of 10 people or fewer, the CDC recommends that unvaccinated people avoid gathering with people who do not live in the same household, especially in indoor settings.

For this type of gathering, what are the risks if everyone in the group is taking a two-dose vaccine, and are half-vaccinated?

People are considered fully vaccinated:

1) Two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or

2) Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine.

Regardless of the size of the gathering, for anyone who is undergoing the two-dose vaccination process and is half-vaccinated, the risk is still the same as a person who is as yet unvaccinated. They should continue to follow the CDC guidelines for unvaccinated people based on the definitions above. See this link.

For this type of gathering, what are the risks if one person in the group is unvaccinated, but everyone else is fully vaccinated?

The individual circumstances will dictate the level of risk. Physical distancing and wearing a mask should be practices that need to be observed by everyone during the gathering. See this link.

Do your opinions of the risks differ when considering those who have gotten a single-dose vaccine?

No, the single-dose vaccine provides similar coverage as the two-dose vaccine. See this link.

What are the risks of a comparably sized gathering among as yet unvaccinated kids and teens?

The same risks apply for unvaccinated kids and teens as for adults who have not been fully vaccinated. See this link for current guidance.

This story was originally published on What You Should Know Before Planning a Gathering