CDC Reverses Guidance, Says Fully Vaccinated People Should Wear Masks Inside in Certain Areas
Citing ‘worrisome’ data on the highly transmissible delta coronavirus variant, the agency also changed its masking guidance for schools
Those who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus should return to wearing masks in indoor public spaces in areas that are seeing substantial or high virus transmission, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday in a major reversal of its guidance.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky cited “worrisome” new data that shows that fully vaccinated individuals could spread the highly contagious delta variant if they experience a breakthrough infection.
“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 causes COVID-19,” Walensky said on a call with reporters without providing details about the data. “Information on the delta variant from several states and other countries indicate that in rare occasions, some vaccinated people infected with the delta variant after vaccination may be contagious and spread the virus to others.”
Walensky said individuals can check the CDC’s data tracker to see their community transmission on a county basis. Roughly 63% of U.S. counties are considered to have “high” or “substantial” transmission, according to CDC data.