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CDC changes course, reinstates mask guidance for vaccinated people in public indoor settings & K-12 schools in areas with high COVID cases
How do you feel about the CDC’s latest mask guidance?
By Eric Revell, Countable News
What’s the story?
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Tuesday that it is reversing its guidance from two months ago and reinstating its recommendation that vaccinated people wear masks in indoor, public settings in areas with high transmission levels of coronavirus (COVID-19).
- In a briefing delivered by telephone, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said:
“In areas with substantial and high transmission, the CDC recommends fully-vaccinated people wear masks in public, indoor settings to help prevent the spread of the Delta variant and protect others.
This includes schools. CDC recommends that everyone in K-12 schools wear a mask indoors, including teachers, staff, students, and visitors ― regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time, in-person learning in the fall with proper prevention strategies in place.
Finally, CDC recommends community leaders encourage vaccination and universal masking to prevent further outbreaks in areas of substantial and high transmission.”
- Based on CDC guidelines, “substantial transmission” is defined as 50-100 cases per 100,000 people in a seven-day period, while “high transmission” is over 100 cases per 100,000.
- Currently, about 46% of counties have “high transmission” and 17% have “substantial transmission” which means that nearly two-thirds of all counties in the U.S. would fall under the CDC’s latest guidance.
- The vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 in recent weeks have been among unvaccinated individuals. On rare occasions, vaccinated people can contract the Delta variant in a breakthrough infection, which may make them contagious and typically involves mild symptoms.
- Walensky said during the briefing that, “We’re just a few mutations away from it being able to evade our vaccines”, and added:
“This moment and, most importantly, the associated illness, suffering and deaths, could have been avoided with higher vaccination coverage in this country… We continue to follow the science closely and update the guidance should the science shift again. We must take every step we can to stop the Delta variant and end this pandemic.”
- The CDC had previously eased its guidelines on fully vaccinated Americans wearing masks outdoors in April before it further relaxed its guidance in May by allowing fully vaccinated people to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and most indoor settings, such as workplaces, restaurants, and schools.
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / Rattankun Thongbun)
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