CDC Recommends a Return to Mask Wearing In Certain Circumstances
On Tuesday, July 27, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced that both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals should revert to wearing masks indoors in certain circumstances.
This revision in recommendation is “based on the fact that the Delta variant is clearly more transmissible than the prior ones,” a senior administration health official commented. Specifically, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced that the CDC now recommends that people in areas with "high" or "substantial" COVID-19 transmission should resume wearing masks indoors. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. counties have high or substantial transmission of COVID-19, according to CDC data.
Furthermore, the CDC recommended that local jurisdictions encourage universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.
At this time, it is not entirely clear how Pennsylvania will handle these recommendations. In the past, the CDC recommendations have helped shape Commonwealth policy. For example, in May the CDC announced a recommendation that vaccinated individuals were not required to wear masks indoors or outdoors, or physically distance, while maintaining that unvaccinated individuals should continue to wear masks and socially distance. Shortly thereafter, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced that it would follow the CDC's new recommendation to ease mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.
It is important to note that on Monday, July 26, the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Education stated that schools should follow the latest CDC guidance for mask wearing and social distancing when reopening this fall.
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