Covid-19 CDC Guidance For The Fully Vaccinated: Read It For Yourself
The latest Covid-19 CDC guidance for the fully vaccinated has folks wondering if mask mandates and lockdown restrictions are coming again.
Vaccinated people may be able to spread the coronavirus and should resume wearing masks under certain circumstances, the nation’s top public health official said Tuesday in a gloomy acknowledgment that the mutated delta variant has reversed the promising trend lines of spring.
Speaking to reporters in an afternoon news briefing, Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, expressed disappointment and dismay that the summer surge in cases, driven by the delta variant’s startling transmissibility and low vaccination rates in many areas, had forced her agency’s hand.
“It is not a welcome piece of news that masking is going to be a part of people’s lives who have already been vaccinated,” Walensky acknowledged. “This new guidance weighs heavily on me.”
The agency advised that people who live in high-transmission communities wear masks in indoor public spaces, even if they’ve been vaccinated. It also recommended that vaccinated people with vulnerable household members, including young children and those who are immunocompromised, wear masks indoors in public spaces.
The agency also called for universal masking for teachers, staff members and students in schools, regardless of their vaccination status. The CDC continues to recommend that students return to in-person learning in the fall.
The changed guidance comes as confirmed coronavirus infections nationwide have quadrupled in July, from about 13,000 cases per day on average at the start of the month to more than 56,000 now, according to Washington Post tracking. Faced with a resurgent virus thanks to the highly transmissible delta variant, a growing number of public and private employers have also imposed vaccine mandates in recent days. President Biden said Tuesday that requiring the federal workforce to get vaccinated was “under consideration right now.”
Walensky described the delta variant as, in effect, a different virus, capable of generating outbreaks of infection even among some people who are vaccinated, although those are likely to be far less severe. “The delta variant is showing every day its willingness to outsmart us and to be an opportunist in areas where we have not shown a fortified response against it,” she said.
Although the vaccines remain highly effective at preventing severe disease and death, they do not form an impenetrable shield. New data suggests that people who are vaccinated and have breakthrough infections from the delta variant may have as much viral load as a person who is unvaccinated, which suggests they may be able to spread it to others, Walensky said. Such transmission did not happen in any significant way with earlier versions of the virus.