US CDC updates COVID-19 guidelines; recommends everyone masks

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 6:11 PM EDT
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The US CDC has updated their guidance on masking

Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC said in a briefing today that, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, anyone in a substantial or high transmission area should wear a mask in public indoor settings. Schools are also included in this recommendation

“Cdc recommends everyone in k-12 schools wear a mask indoors, including teachers, staff, students, and visitors regardless of vaccination status. Students should return to full time in person learning in the fall with proper prevention strategy in place”

She also maintains the recommendation that all eligible people receive a vaccine. Aroostook County is a moderate transmission area, but the CDC recommends monitoring the status of your county on the CDC COVID data tracker.

Governor Janet Mills has instructed the Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine CDC to review the US CDC’s updated guidance. Mills says she expects the review to be complete tomorrow, at which point she will announce any changes.

While substantial and high transmission areas are recommended to practice universal masking, Aroostook County, and most of Maine, only has moderate transmission status. Medical professionals in Maine still recommend people should mask up.

“We certainly anticipated this might happen because of the growing number of cases”

Cary Medical’s director of community relations and development, Bill Flagg, says the County has seen breakthrough cases of the delta variant. Breakthrough cases are those found in fully vaccinated people. Dr James Jarvis, the lead physician for northern light’s response to covid 19, explains why the delta variant is so much more dangerous

“Delta variant causes many more copies to develop inside us when the virus comes in...That much more virus that comes out when we talk cough sneeze or sing”

Treatment is the same for all variants, so jarvis says they are not putting money into determining number of delta cases, but random tests of positive tests do show a majority of positive cases are likely to be delta

“The more people that get the virus the more chance there is of more variants "

“Anyone who gets infected they can be the source now for the next variant "

Both Jarvis and Flagg say the best way to protect your community from COVID 19 and the delta variant is to wear a mask and get vaccinated. CDC data shows that the vaccines are still effective against the Delta variant, and that the majority of people hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

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