US COVID-19 Vaccinated people to mask – People in high-risk areas of the United States who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 should resume wearing masks indoors, according to the country’s top health authority, in a major reversal of guidance that highlights the country’s struggle to suppress the Delta variant.
President Joe Biden said the announcement demonstrated that America needs to “do better” when it comes to vaccinations and that a vaccine mandate for the country’s more than two million federal employees is now “under consideration.”
Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Rochelle Walensky cited new data showing that rare Delta breakthrough cases have a higher risk of onward transmission.
“CDC recommends fully vaccinated people wear masks in public indoor settings in areas with considerable and high transmission,” she said. The CDC defended its surprise judgment in May that vaccinated people did not need to wear masks indoors in most circumstances only last week.
In yet another setback, the White House ordered all of its employees to mask up again on Tuesday owing to low local transmission rates in Washington.
According to the most recent CDC data, substantial or high transmission is present in 63 percent of the country’s more than 3,200 counties.
Between 50 and 100 daily cases per 100,000 people over seven days is considered substantial, whereas more than 100 daily cases per 100,000 people over seven days is considered high.
After the country’s good start to its vaccination campaign, Biden said he will lay out new actions on Thursday to overcome the lag in vaccines.
When questioned about a possible vaccine mandate for US federal workers during a separate talk to the US intelligence community, Biden answered, “That’s under discussion right now.”
On Tuesday, the mayor of Los Angeles stated that city officials would be required to show confirmation of coronavirus vaccine or a weekly negative test.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “The fourth wave is here, and the decision for Angelenos couldn’t be simpler – get vaccinated or get Covid-19.”
“If you work for the city, you will now be required to provide proof of vaccination or take a weekly test, and we are dedicated to pursuing a comprehensive vaccine mandate.”
The Veterans Affairs Department announced on Monday that it would force its frontline health workers, totaling 115,000 individuals, to get the vaccine, making it the first government agency to do so.
Vaccines reduce the chance of symptomatic disease seven-fold, as well as hospitalizations and mortality by a factor of 20. So-called “breakthrough” instances among vaccinated persons are rare, according to Walensky.
However, according to new CDC research, when a vaccinated individual gets ill, their virus load is similar to that of an uninfected person.
“This leads us to conclude that breakthrough infections, as rare as they are, have the ability to spread in the same way that an unvaccinated person does,” she added.
When schools reopen in the autumn, the CDC will suggest that all teachers, staff, students, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, use universal masking to prevent the transmission of the Delta strain, she noted.
Former President Donald Trump, who has been heavily criticized for mishandling the virus during his time in office, has slammed the new suggestions.
“We’re not going back. In a statement, he declared, “We will not mask our children.” “Brave Americans learned how to live and fight in a safe and responsible manner.”
The Delta variation, which accounts for roughly 90% of cases, is causing an increase in infection numbers in the United States.
The latest seven-day average of daily cases is over 56,000, which is similar to April’s levels.
Huge death toll
Covid-19 has claimed the lives of about 610,000 people in the United States.
The vaccination rate is strongly skewed towards politically liberal sections of the country, with 49% of the population fully vaccinated.
“What we really need to do to drive down these transmissions in areas of high transmission is to get more and more people vaccinated,” Walensky said, describing masks as a “temporary” remedy.
The amount of virus identified in the first testing of patients with the Delta variation was 1,000 times more than patients in the first wave of the virus in 2020, according to a recent research in the journal Virological, dramatically enhancing the virus’s contagiousness.