US health officials announced on Tuesday that Americans living in or visiting areas with high COVID-19 transmission, including those who are fully vaccinated, are required to wear a mask in indoor public spaces.
The United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) updated its mask guidance for fully vaccinated Americans on its website after a press briefing earlier in the day when Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, made the announcement publicly.
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Over half of the country is currently experiencing high or substantial COVID-19 transmission. The Delta variant is believed to be the main driver behind the COVID-19 resurgence in the US.
The red areas on the map above, which was updated on Sunday, represent regions experiencing high transmission. Orange-coloured regions indicate areas with substantial COVID-19 transmission.
The map shows that 46.3% of US counties are in red zones, and 17.02% are in orange zones.
“To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission,” reads the new guidance on the CDC website.
#DeltaVariant surging in U.S. New data show Delta much more contagious than previous versions of #COVID19. Unvaccinated people: get vaccinated & mask until you do. Everyone in areas of substantial/high transmission should wear a mask, even if vaccinated. https://t.co/tt49zOEC8N
— CDC (@CDCgov) July 27, 2021
This decision comes just over two months after the CDC advised Americans that they no longer needed to wear masks or physically distance themselves if they were fully vaccinated, unless required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws.
It was also recently announced that Canada would open its borders to fully vaccinated Americans, but the US isn’t yet prepared to do the same for Canadians.
The Government of Canada website continues to suggest that people should wear masks, but individual provinces have different rules and requirements.
Daily Hive has reached out to Health Canada to see if this might be in the cards for Canadians.