CDC reinstates mask policy indoors after surge in Delta variant cases

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ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The CDC is reversing course because of a steep rise in Delta variant cases. The CDC’s Director says new scientific data shows the variant behaves differently than the previous strains and even if you are fully vaccinated, you may have a 10% chance of being contagious.

The CDC says 8 out of 10 new COVID-19 cases are because of the contagious Delta variant.

Dr. Colleen Kraft, Associate Chief Medical Officer at Emory University Hospital said, “Delta variant is more transmissible, [needs] less time to transmit, and causes more viruses to be replicated.”

Cameron Webb, Senior Policy Advisor for Equity with the White House Covid Response Team said, “We have data that shows that 1000 time increase in your nose this is a different type of virus.”

That’s why the CDC is bringing masks back, even if you’re vaccinated, in indoor settings and in schools.

“We have been through 3 surges that are large surges in Georgia. These surges are the largest after the vaccine. If we are going to have a low vaccine uptake or a number of people that can’t be vaccinated such as children then we have to go back to stopping the transmission, which means mask-wearing,” said Dr. Kraft.

The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated and prevent the Delta variant from mutating.

“For breakthrough cases, and those who are vaccinated, they don’t get as sick and [are] not dying from covid which we saw too much early on this pandemic,” said Webb.

The CDC’s Director says unvaccinated people are seven times more likely to contract the virus, and twenty times more likely to be hospitalized, with nearly all COVID-19 deaths due to people not getting the dose.

Dr. Kraft said, “Vaccinations certainly stop transmission, but with low vaccine uptake, we know the Delta variant can’t get through masks.”

While unvaccinated people are more likely to spread it, they are seeing cases of vaccinated people contracting it which is why they’re reinstating the mask policy.

With only 34% of Alabama fully vaccinated, the Alabama Health Department says whether it’s COVID, flu, or any infectious disease, the elderly, young children and those who are immunocompromised are always at the greatest risk for complications.

The White House says they are still working with the CDC to see if Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson and Johnson’s vaccines have any correlation to those getting infected with the Delta variant. Pfizer says they are working on a third booster shot that could protect you by 5 times against the Delta variant and increase antibody levels.


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