The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors in areas where COVID-19 transmission levels are high in new guidance issued July 27.
This comes as a result of new unpublished data revealing that vaccinated people infected with the Delta COVID-19 variant can have as much virus as the unvaccinated when infected.
The prevalence of the Delta variant – which now makes up about 83% of all U.S. COVID cases – played a big part in this decision, according to CNN.
However, “vaccinated people still play a small role in transmission and breakthrough infections are rare,” so getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is still highly recommended.
About 46% of U.S. counties are considered to have high transmission rates with another 17% considered to be in the “substantial” transmission category, according to data the CDC provided at a July 27 news conference.
The CDC also recommended universal masking for teachers, staff, students and visitors in schools regardless of vaccination status and community transmission levels.
You can find the transmission rate in your state, county or metropolitan area here. The CDC recommends fully vaccinated people wear masks in public, indoor spaces in areas with “substantial” or “high” transmission rates.