The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expected to issue new guidelines on Tuesday indicating that people vaccinated against Covid-19 must wear masks indoors under certain circumstances, according to reports.
The change comes as the Delta variant results in a surge in cases, with hot spots in areas that have fallen behind in vaccinations.
According to CNN, senior health officials met on Sunday evening to discuss the matter, and the change is expected to be announced during a briefing by CDC director Rochelle Walensky at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time (19:00 GMT ). The Washington Post also reported on the development.
As recently as last week, the CDC defended its decision, announced in May, to say that vaccinated people do not need masks indoors under most circumstances, with the exception of public transportation. and hospitals.
But Delta, which now accounts for about 90% of new infections in the United States, changed the math.
While current vaccines remain highly effective against hospitalizations and death, there are more and more cases of breakthrough infections, making personal risk and risk of transmission more closely related to the level of virus circulating in a community.
Experts have suggested tying mask use to local metrics such as vaccination level and Covid hospitalizations per capita, which are seen as a more reliable measure of the spread of the disease than per capita cases.
According to a recent article in the journal Virological, the viral load in the first tests of patients with Delta was 1,000 times higher than that of patients with the first wave of the virus in 2020.
Not only does Delta replicate more quickly inside its host compared to previous strains, infected people release significantly more of it into the air, dramatically increasing the likelihood of it being transmitted.
Last month, Israel reinstated the mask warrants just 10 days after they were lifted, in light of the Delta variant and local U.S. jurisdictions like Los Angeles County have taken similar action.
© 2021 AFP