The expanded repeal of the mask recommendation for corona-vaccinated people in the US was considered a milestone in the fight against the pandemic. The delta variant now forces the experts to row back.
New York (AP) – In a turnaround due to the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, the US health authority CDC is advising that masks be worn again in the future.
In some parts of the country, where the virus is spreading particularly strongly, people who have been fully vaccinated are also required to cover their mouths and noses in public areas, the authority has announced. This also applies to schools.
US President Joe Biden called for compliance with the new guidelines. “More vaccinations and masking in the areas hardest hit by the Delta variant will allow us to avoid the kind of lockdowns, closures, school closures and disruptions we faced in 2020.” The US would not back down on these measures.
In May, the CDC found wearing a mask indoors for a fully vaccinated person was no longer necessary for the vast majority of situations. The CDC only makes recommendations. Ultimately, American states make their own decisions.
“Majority of Transmission from Unvaccinated People”
Information also contributed to the new assessment, which suggests there is a good chance the virus will be passed on to people who have been vaccinated. However, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky stressed “we believe that the vast majority of transmission occurs in unvaccinated people and through unvaccinated people (…)”.
The number of new cases has recently risen particularly sharply in many southern US states, such as Florida, Missouri and Arkansas. The vaccination rate there is very low. Just under 50 percent of all Americans — 163 million people — are fully vaccinated. That is significantly less than the government had intended at the moment. In contrast to the number of new infections, the number of new deaths per day is still relatively low at just under 300. In December and January that number was regularly above 3,000.