Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should go back to wearing masks in indoor public places in regions where the coronavirus and especially the Delta variant are spreading rapidly, U.S. authorities said on Tuesday (July 27).
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommended all students and teachers at kindergarten through 12th grade schools wear masks regardless of vaccination status. The CDC said children should return to full-time, in-person learning in the fall with proper prevention strategies.
The changes mark a reversal of the CDC’s announcement in May that prompted millions of vaccinated Americans to shed their face coverings.
The United States leads the world in the daily average number of new infections, accounting for one in every nine cases reported worldwide each day. The seven-day average for new cases has been rising sharply and stands at 57,126, still about a quarter of the pandemic peak.
“In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends that fully vaccinated individuals wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent spread of Delta and protect others,” the agency said.
The CDC said that 63% of U.S. counties had high transmission rates that warranted mask wearing. The Delta variant is highly transmissible.
In May, the agency advised that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks outdoors and can avoid wearing them indoors in most places, guidance the agency said would allow life to begin to return to normal.
(Production: Kristin Neubauer)