CDC Wants People in High-Risk Areas to Wear Masks, Even If Vaccinated
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reversing course on some face mask guidelines. The agency announced new recommendations Tuesday that even vaccinated people should return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging.
In Alabama, the latest risk indicator map shows 59 of the state’s 67 counties are at “very high risk” for COVID-19.
In addition, the CDC now recommends that face masks be worn in schools for all teachers, staff, students and visitors, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated. Earlier this month, the CDC said it was okay for vaccinated students and staff to be maskless.
“Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with proper prevention strategies are in place,” the CDC said.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the data show the delta variant “behaves uniquely” from past strains of the virus.
The data indicate that on “rare occasions, some vaccinated people with the delta variant … may be contagious and spread the virus to others. This new science is worrisome and unfortunately warrants an update to our recommendations,” she said.
The delta variant now represents 83% of COVID-19 infections.
In Alabama, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said that as of today, more than 900 people are hospitalized with COVID-19. That is up from 179 on July 3.
Gov. Kay Ivey has said that she doesn’t plan to issue a mask mandate for schools. Last week, the Alabama chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommended that school superintendents require face masks in schools.