Health department announces changes in CDC masking recommendations
Wed, 08/04/2021 - 11:11am caleb
CDC says ‘fully vaccinated people in areas of substantial or high transmission should wear a mask in public indoor settings’
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
District Health Department #10 announced last week that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has changed its recommendations on masking due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 delta variant in parts of the United States.
“On July 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided interim public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people based on new evidence of the delta variant currently circulating in the United States. The CDC states that, while infections can happen in only a small portion of people who are fully vaccinated, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the delta variant can spread the virus to others,” according to District Health Department #10.
“To reduce the risk of becoming infected or spreading COVID-19, including the delta variant, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people in areas of substantial or high transmission should wear a mask in public indoor settings. Fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated. People who are at increased risk for severe disease include older adults and those who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, overweight or obesity, and heart conditions. Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Get tested three to five days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until a negative test result. Isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms,” according to District Health Department #10.
“People who are immunocompromised should be counseled about the potential for reduced immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines and to follow current prevention measures (including wearing a mask, staying six feet apart from others they don’t live with, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces) regardless of their vaccination status to protect themselves against COVID-19 until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider. The CDC also recommends universal masking for all K-12 schools, including teachers, staff, students, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status,” according to District Health Department #10.
The CDC’s website offers a “COVID-19 Integrated County View” map that shows “areas of substantial or high transmission.” The “Level of Community Transmission” is represented on the map by county according to four colors: Red (High), Orange (Substantial), Yellow (Moderate), and Blue (Low). Crawford County and Roscommon County – as of Thursday, July 29 – were listed at Blue (Low) level of COVID-19 community transmission; however, neighboring Kalkaska County was listed as Orange (Substantial). Otsego County, Oscoda County, and Ogemaw County were listed as Yellow (Moderate).
Most counties in Michigan – as of Thursday, July 29 – were listed at Yellow (Moderate). Branch County, at the Michigan/Indiana border, was the only Michigan county listed as Red (High) as of Thursday. Cass, Jackson, Van Buren, Hillsdale, Ionia, Saginaw, Mason, Arenac, Benzie, Alpena, Charlevoix, Delta, Iron, and Ontonagon counties were all listed at Orange (Substantial).
In the United States, the map shows that most of the western states and southern have significant amounts of Red (High) community transmission. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine registered on the map mostly at the Yellow (Moderate) level, as of July 29.