CDC Will Advise Vaccinated People Wear Masks Indoors
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expected to make an announcement today to recommend fully vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors again in places with high Covid-19 transmission rates.
The updated guidance comes as the delta variant is causing a spike in new cases, and is expected to bring a surge through the fall. That’s when many large employers plan to bring workers back to the office and kids return to school.
Federal health officials still believe fully vaccinated individuals represent a very small amount of transmission, according to the sources cited by Reuters. Still, some vaccinated people could be carrying higher levels of the virus than previously understood and potentially transmit the virus to other. The CDC will hold a briefing at 3 p.m. ET Tuesday, and the new updated guidance should be part of the agenda.
The CDC eased its guidelines on the wearing of masks outdoors in April, as more people were getting vaccinated. In May, the guidance was eased further for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.
But now, Covid-19 cases are on the rise in all 50 states and the District of Columbia as the delta variant spreads across the country. The U.S. is reporting an average of about 43,700 new cases per day over the past week. That’s way below pandemic highs but up a 65% increase over the previous seven days and nearly three times as high as the level two weeks ago. Cases hit a 15-month low in late June before they began to rise yet again.
Around 189 million Americans have received at least one dose of any vaccine. Over 163 million people in the country are fully vaccinated as of yesterday.