On Tuesday, July 27, the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention really helpful that vaccinated individuals put on masks in public indoor areas in communities the place covid circumstances are spiking.
Together with the brand new coverage, the CDC recommends that youngsters in grades Okay–12 attend faculty in particular person whereas persevering with to put on masks inside.
Why is the CDC making this swap?
The announcement comes on the heels of rising infections with the delta variant, the extremely infectious pressure of covid that was first detected in India earlier this yr. The brand new coverage could look like backtracking, however Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, defined that the company’s selections aren’t made flippantly.
“Our steering and suggestions will comply with the science,” stated Walensky throughout a press briefing. “The delta variant is displaying each day its willingness to outsmart us and to be an opportunist in areas the place we’ve not proven a fortified response towards it.”
In Might, delta was chargeable for simply 2% of circumstances sequenced within the US, however right this moment 82% of samples include the extra contagious variant, in line with Johns Hopkins.
Does this transformation have an effect on me?
Most likely (when you stay within the US). Greater than 63% of the US is experiencing what the CDC calls “substantial transmission charges,” which suggests the brand new coverage would apply there. To discover out when you’re residing in an space the place covid is surging, go to the CDC’s Covid Knowledge Tracker, which tracks infections by county.
(For those who’re not absolutely vaccinated, this will not be a lot of a change, relying on the place you reside. Eight states, together with California, New York, and Nevada, have already been requiring unvaccinated individuals to masks up.)
How is the delta variant spreading?
The CDC believes that unvaccinated individuals are driving this unfold. However not often, vaccinated individuals are additionally getting sick and could also be passing on the an infection, though their circumstances are possible a lot much less extreme. Earlier within the pandemic, an individual with covid may infect 2.5 others, on common. However with the delta variant, one an infection spawns a mean of six extra.