CDC mask guidance update: What you should know

Archive, July, Month

CDC guidelines have been updated to suggest masking vaccinated people in certain areas.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, announced an update to its pandemic masking guidelines.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the CDC had recommended that everyone wear a mask when leaving their home.

With the success of the vaccine rollout and the nationwide drop in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths, the CDC updated its guidelines in May — unvaccinated Americans could go without a mask when outdoors and vaccinated people could go maskless almost everywhere, outdoors and indoors.

However, with the surge on COVID-19 cases across the country fueled by the more-infectious delta variant of the coronavirus, the CDC rolled back its guidelines to now recommend that vaccinated people begin wearing masks indoors again in ‘high’ and ‘substantial’ transmission communities.

A ‘high’ transmission area is defined as one with 100 new cases per 100,000 people over the period of a week. ‘Substantial’ transmission is 50 new cases per 100,000.

The CDC provides a map showing the transmission level of every county in the United States.

The CDC continues to maintain that the vast majority of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths are among the unvaccinated.

New data, though, suggests that even vaccinated people exposed to the coronavirus can carry a viral load large enough to transmit the virus to others. While vaccinated individual may not get sick, they can still pass it.

Even with the update to the mask guidelines, the CDC still advises everyone who’s eligible to get one of the safe and effective vaccines.

While there still continue to be breakthrough cases, data from those cases still show that the illness and symptoms (if there are any) are significantly less severe and mostly keep them out of the hospital and alive.

This, medical professionals and public health experts say, is what the vaccine is designed to do.


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