CDC Recommends Mask Wearing Indoors Again
Additionally, the CDC now recommends all teachers, staff, students and visitors in K-12 schools wear masks, regardless of their vaccination status.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its guidelines regarding the wearing of facial coverings on Tuesday. It now is recommending that those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine wear face masks indoors in public if they are in areas with substantial or high transmission of the coronavirus.
Additionally, the agency now recommends all teachers, staff, students and visitors in K-12 schools wear masks, regardless of their vaccination status. The revised CDC guidance for K-12 campuses now aligns with guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommends that all students over the age of two years, as well as school staff, wear facial coverings, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Only earlier this month the CDC said fully vaccinated students and staff didn’t need to wear masks inside campus buildings. The agency has always recommended that those who have not been vaccinated for COVID-19 wear a mask.
The change in guidance was prompted by the recent surge of COVID-19 infections, especially the Delta variant, in unvaccinated individuals. New data indicates that “breakthrough” infections, which normally cause milder illness, can happen in vaccinated individuals, reports USA Today. Those individuals can then spread the Delta variant to people who are not vaccinated. Individuals who are not vaccinated run a much greater risk of experiencing severe symptoms or even death, compared to those who have been fully vaccinated.
However, according to Prevention, “in those who have received the vaccine, the immune system has already been primed to recognize and fight the virus; antibodies are quick to get to work, staving off serious illness before it can begin.”
Before the CDC changed its guidance, the cities of Los Angeles and St. Louis were already requiring the wearing of face masks indoors.
Currently, none of the COVID-19 vaccines have received emergency approval by the FDA for children under the age of 12.
“Wearing a mask is most important if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated,” said the CDC on its website. “If this applies to you or your household, you might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission in your area.”