Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb are closer than ever.
Well, maybe not ever — but on Friday the TODAY co-anchors, who are both fully vaccinated against COVID-19, were closer than they've been in a long time after moving their desk chairs back to their more traditional distance for the first time in 15 months.
Being able to sit side by side is in concert with Thursday's announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that people who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, in most instances, proving that the vaccines are effective.
"How long have we been waiting for this moment?" Savannah said at the top of Friday's show, while she grabbed Hoda's hand.
"We are doing it. We used to sit on these separate edges," Hoda said, pointing to both ends of their desk.
"Six feet apart, for about 15 months," Savannah said.
"Your breath smells minty fresh," Hoda joked, alluding to the fact they are sitting near each other. "This feels really, really good."
It's been a long time coming, as the CDC in April 2020 first urged all Americans to wear face coverings and keep a socially distant 6 feet apart. The CDC would later recommended wearing two masks due to new variants this past February before it eventually relaxed mask mandates and physical distancing guidance this week — an announcement Savannah called a "happy surprise."
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CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky joined TODAY Friday to speak more about the latest guidance.
"I am cautiously optimistic that we are seeing this great, great endpoint in sight," she told Hoda. "But I think we really do have to be humble and say that this virus, this pandemic, has given us twists and turns. So we can't keep our eye off the ball. We do have to continue to monitor really carefully."
Her optimism echoed comments from a virtual media briefing Thursday, in which she also explained how the CDC made the call to update its guidance.
"We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy," she said. "Based on the continuing downward trajectory of cases, the scientific data on the performance of our vaccines, and our understanding of how the virus spreads, that moment has come for those who are fully vaccinated."
While Savannah and Hoda took a big step to returning to life as they know it, it has not yet been two weeks since Craig Melvin received his second vaccine dose, so he remained several feet from his colleagues. He will be fully vaccinated by Monday.