The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised their guidance on mask-wearing to recommend that even fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors if they are in an area with high or significant spread.
The Delta variant is spreading across the country, particularly in places with low vaccination rates, according to the CDC.
“We have places that are now reporting over 300 cases per 100,000, so an extraordinary amount of viral transmission,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement reported by NPR. “The highest spread of cases and severe outcomes is happening in places with low vaccination rates and among unvaccinated people.”
Additionally, the agency also recommends that all teachers, staff, and students at schools wear masks, whether they are vaccinated or not in part because children under 12 aren’t authorized to get a vaccine.
The American Academy of Pediatrics likewise recommends all students over 2 years old and staff wear masks in schools regardless of vaccination status.
In May, the mask mandate was dropped for fully vaccinated people after cases were dropping significantly. 2 million shots were administered the day the policy was announced, since then vaccination rates have dropped.
In other news:
- Pfizer and Moderna are expanding the size of their studies in children of ages five to 11 to better detect potential rare side effects. Moderna began recruiting patients in March, while Pfizer expects to meet the F.D.A.’s expectations for expanded emergency authorization of their vaccine by the end of September. Read more about it in the New York Times here.
- The Texas Department of Health and Human Services will award $10 million to local organizations working to support COVID-19 vaccinations across Texas. The Texas Vaccine Outreach and Education Grant program will provide organizations involved in vaccine education grants from $50,000 to $150,000. DSHS will be partnering with Texas A&M University Health Science Center to administer the grants. To learn more, click here.