The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now recommending that even vaccinated people wear masks indoors in parts of the United States where coronavirus is surging.
The CDC cited new information about the ability of the delta variant to spread among vaccinated people. The CDC also recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools regardless of vaccination status.
On Tuesday (July 27), Michigan reported a total of 1,762 new coronavirus cases in the state and 19 additional deaths.
The CDC said that in the United States most new infections are among unvaccinated people. But “breakthrough” infections, which generally cause milder illness, can occur in vaccinated people.
In earlier strains of COVID, infected vaccinated people were deemed unlikely to spread the virus. But with the delta variant, the level of virus in infected vaccinated people is “indistinguishable” from the level of virus in the noses and throats of unvaccinated people.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the delta variant has changed the nation’s COVID-19 outlook since the the CDC relaxed masking recommendations.
“That is their job. Their job is to look at evolving information, evolving data, an evolving historic pandemic and provide guidance to the American public,” Psaki said.
“What has not changed,” she added, “is the fact that people who are vaccinated have a huge deal of protection from serious illness, from hospitalization and from death.”