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CDC updates mask guidance for fully vaccinated people

CDC updates mask guidance for fully vaccinated people



CDC updates mask guidance for fully vaccinated people

 

To prevent further spread of the Delta coronavirus variant, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its mask guidance on Tuesday to recommend that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors when in areas with "substantial" or "high" transmission of Covid-19, which right now includes nearly two-thirds of all US counties.

"In recent days I have seen new scientific data from recent outbreak investigations showing that the Delta variant behaves uniquely differently from past strains of the virus that cause Covid-19," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told a media briefing on Tuesday.

"This new science is worrisome and unfortunately warrants an update to our recommendations," she said. "This is not a decision that we or CDC has made lightly."

New unpublished data -- showing that vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant can have as much virus in their nose as people who are unvaccinated -- is the primary driver for the CDC's latest mask guidance change, a source involved with the decision process told CNN. Overall, vaccinated people still play a small role in transmission, and breakthrough infections remain rare.

The new guidance also recommends fully vaccinated people to test 3-5 days after a possible or known exposure, and to continue to wear a mask when in indoor public settings for the next 14 days or until a negative test result.

In addition, the new guidance also says that all people at a school, regardless of vaccination status -- so staff, teachers, students and visitors -- should all wear a mask.

It might not be the guidance that people were hoping to hear, but as I've said throughout this pandemic: We're in this together. Remember to be kind, mask up, and get vaccinated when you can.