Having a vaccine for yourself is great, and it certainly gives you peace of mind, even if you still have to take precautions.

The latest CDC guidance says people who are fully vaccinated can spend time unmasked and inside with others who are also fully vaccinated.

The national’s top public health agency also says that it’s safe, in certain instances, for fully vaccinated people to spend unmasked time inside with those who are unvaccinated—provided those who are unvaccinated are from the same household and have no high-risk health conditions. (If there’s unvaccinated people from more than one household, or an unvaccinated person has high-risk conditions, everyone should continue to wear a mask. And it’s best to meet outside.)

If you live with or care for people who can’t yet get vaccinated, you should still keep your unmasked contacts limited so you don’t bring home what may be a mild case for you, but one that turns into a serious illness for them.

As cases decline in your area and vaccination rates increase, close contact with others gets safer and safer, but the new variants could still bring another surge. We are nearing the end of this marathon, and now isn’t the time to quit early.

Cases are decreasing in most parts of the country, but they are still high. The mix of high case counts and growing vaccination levels makes an epidemiological soup that is primed to breed new variants that are resistant to the vaccines. We definitely don’t need that hurdle at the end of the race, so please keep taking care to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Just like you did at the start of the pandemic, make sure you stay on top of the rules and guidance in your community and talk candidly to family and friends about their and your risk tolerance as we slowly make our way out of this mess.