Infectious Disease

CDC amends mask guidelines, saying even vaccinated Americans need them in some places

Source / information

Source:

Press conference.

Disclosure:
Walensky does not report any relevant financial information.

ADD SUBJECT TO EMAIL ALERTS

Receive an email when new articles are published on

Please enter your email address to receive an email when new articles are published on . “data-action =” subscribe “> subscribe

We could not process your request. Please try again later. If this problem persists, please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

Back to Healio

The CDC changed its mask guidelines Tuesday to say that self-vaccinated people should wear them indoors in areas with high coronavirus transmission and that everyone in K-12 schools should wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.

CDC director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, attributed the updates to “new science” showing that vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 could potentially spread the virus.

The CDC said even vaccinated Americans should wear masks again in areas of the United States with high transmission. Source: Adobe Stock.

Rochelle P. Walensky

“This new science is worrying and unfortunately warrants an update of our recommendations,” Walensky said at a press conference.

The updated guidelines came 2 1/2 months after the CDC said fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks or social distancing indoors, and just weeks after it recommended that only unvaccinated people in schools should wear masks at all times.

According to CDC data, the US recorded over 66,700 new cases of COVID-19 on July 22nd, up from approximately 13,600 cases reported on June 22nd. The vaccination rate has also declined from a peak of more than 3 million doses a day in April to less than 500,000 a day currently administered. As of Tuesday, less than 58% of the eligible population had been fully vaccinated.

The new guideline for fully vaccinated individuals recommends that they wear masks indoors in areas of the country with “significant” or “high” transmission – defined as 50 to 100 cases per 100,000 people over a 7 day period for “significant” transmission and 100-plus cases per 100,000 people over a 7-day period for “high” transmission, Walensky noted. The guidelines were published in the MMWR.

Carlos del Rio

“That is the right call” Carlos del Rio, MD, Executive Associate Dean at Emory University School of Medicine, said Healio. “As transmission increases, indoor masking is the right step for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. This is an evolving pandemic and we need to adjust our recommendations in response to the data. “

A county-level color-coded map maintained by the CDC shows that some states, including many in the Midwest and the South, are mostly orange or red – the colors represent “significant” and “high” transmission – what’s on them suggesting that in these vaccinated people people states would largely fall under the new CDC guidelines.

“The Delta variant is showing its willingness every day to trick us and be an opportunist in areas where we have not shown an increased response to it,” said Walensky, noting that 80% of the SARS-CoV-2 samples sequenced now the variant first identified in India.

Walensky said she saw data from outbreak investigations in several states and other countries “showing that the Delta variant behaves uniquely different from previous strains of the virus that cause COVID-19” – that vaccinated people infected with Delta are contagious The virus can be and spread.

However, she found that vaccination continues to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and deaths from COVID-19, even in people infected with the Delta variant.

“It also helps reduce the spread of the virus in our communities,” she said. “Vaccinated persons continue to represent a very low level of transmission” and their risk of an infection accompanied by symptoms “is reduced many times over”.

The updated CDC guidelines are part of a series of tougher measures and recommendations recently put in place to halt the surge in cases and eradicate vaccination hesitation, including mandating vaccination requirements for health workers and public officials.

president Joe Biden called the updated CDC guidance “another step on our path to fighting this virus”.

“I hope all Americans living in the areas covered by the CDC guidelines will follow them; I will definitely do it when I travel to these areas, ”he said in a statement.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America also backed the changes, saying that vaccination rates in most areas of the US are too low to minimize transmission and that “it is impossible in public settings to know who is vaccinated and who is not “.

“The overwhelming majority of current COVID-19 cases occur in people who have not been vaccinated, and vaccination rates are urgently needed to increase significantly to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” said an IDSA statement. “Until then, wearing masks will help reduce infections, prevent serious illness and death, limit the burden on local hospitals and stave off the development of even more worrying varieties.”

References:

CDC. Trends in the Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths Reported to the CDC in the United States, by State / Territory. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#trends_dailytrendscases. Accessed July 27, 2021.

CDC. Trends in the number of COVID-19 vaccinations in the United States. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccination-trends. Accessed July 27, 2021.

Christie A. et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021; doi: 10.15585 / mmwr.mm7030e2.

perspective

Back to top

Gitanjali Pai, MD

Gitanjali Pai

One thing that has been constant during this pandemic was change. We really need to adapt and be flexible to keep up with the advancement of science, the information available and the changing face of the pandemic. The modified CDC mask instructions reflect the changing trends in the cases in the context of the dynamic behavior of the delta variant with its increased transferability, probably increased virulence, coupled with our suboptimal vaccination rates. The higher the vaccination rate, the sooner this guide can be scaled back, but in the meantime we must all continue to do our part to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Health care providers remain credible sources of information for communities – and all the more so in the face of ever-changing science – and we must continue to disseminate information and promote vaccination as we strive to overcome this pandemic.

Gitanjali Pai, MD

chief doctor

Oklahoma State Department of Health

Infectious Disease Doctor

Memorial Hospital and Medical Clinic

Stilwell, Oklahoma

Disclosure: Pai does not report any relevant financial information.

ADD SUBJECT TO EMAIL ALERTS

Receive an email when new articles are published on

Please enter your email address to receive an email when new articles are published on . “data-action =” subscribe “> subscribe

We could not process your request. Please try again later. If this problem persists, please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

Back to Healio

COVID-19 Resource Center

COVID-19 Resource Center

Related Articles