On Tuesday, the Centres for Disease Control once again changed its masking guidelines, particularly for people who’re indoors. Amidst yet another surge in infections fueled by the Delta variant, the CDC recommended that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S.
Seeing the rise in infections even amidst the vaccinated population, the CDC also recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors at schools nationwide, regardless of vaccination status.
The CDC’s new mask policy follows recent decisions in Los Angeles and St. Louis to revert to indoor mask mandates amid the spike in COVID-19 infections. The new guidance on masks in indoor public places applies in parts of the U.S. with at least 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the last week. That includes 60 percent of U.S. counties, officials said.
New case rates are particularly high in the South and Southwest, according to a CDC tracker. In Arkansas, Louisiana, and Florida, every county has a high transmission rate. As it stands, the nation is averaging more than 57,000 cases a day and 24,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Following the new guidelines, the White House also quickly pivoted on its own masking guidance, asking all staff and reporters to wear masks indoors because the latest CDC data shows that Washington faces a substantial level of COVID transmission.