CDC Will Urge Vaccinated To Wear Masks Indoors In High Transmission Areas Of US

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will change course on Tuesday and recommend that people vaccinated for the coronavirus return to wearing face masks indoors in parts of the country with substantial Covid-19 transmission

From the New York Times:

The change follows reports of rising breakthrough infections with the Delta variant of the virus in people who were fully immunized, and case surges in regions with low vaccination rates. The vaccines remain effective against the worst outcomes of infection with the virus, including those involving the Delta variant.

As recently as last week, an agency spokesman said that the C.D.C. had no plans to change its guidance, unless there were a significant change in the science. Federal officials met on Sunday night to review new evidence that may have prompted the reversal, CNN reported on Tuesday.

Medical experts are saying new evidence is raising concerns that vaccinated individuals may be able to spread the virus. Previous versions of the virus generally did not appear to be transmittable by those who had been fully vaccinated.

Dr. Leana Wen writes in the Washington Post:

The United States is on a very different trajectory now than it was back in May, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance that fully vaccinated people no longer needed to wear masks. Even then, when cases were trending downward, many of us in public health were alarmed that the CDC’s recommendations would herald the precipitous and premature end of indoor mask mandates.

We were right. The CDC’s honor system didn’t work. The unvaccinated took off their masks, too; not enough people were vaccinated to be a backstop against further surges; and infections began to soar.