New York Post
JAB OR NO JAB, MASK UP CDC’s about-face
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course Tuesday and urged even fully vaccinated people to wear masks indoors in COVID-19 hot spots.
The agency is also warning everyone in K-12 schools to wear a mask when classes resume, regardless of vaccination status.
“In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends fully vaccinated people
wear masks in public, indoor settings to help prevent the spread of the Delta variants and protect others,” said agency chief Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
“Children should return to fulltime in-person learning in the fall with proper prevention strategies.”
The new recommendations come after the agency gave the green light in May for vaccinated people to ditch their masks in most indoor settings.
The game-changer is the recent spread of the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant, which has driven surges of COVID-19 across the country and is now responsible for around 83 percent of cases nationwide.
“Information on the Delta variant from several states and other countries indicates that in rare occasions, some vaccinated people infected with a Delta variant . . . may be contagious and spread the virus to others,” Walensky said.
While the current vaccines are highly effective against serious illness, including the Delta variant, she noted that the new guidance helps protect more vulnerable individuals and children who are too young to be immunized.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that the CDC’s new guidelines are in response to “evolving information” about the pandemic.
The CDC’s guidance is only a recommendation, though, leaving the final call up to state and local officials.
Several cities and towns, including Los Angeles, St. Louis and Savannah, Ga., have already reinstated masking rules.
Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio said separately on Tuesday that their respective health officials will be reviewing the CDC’s latest recommendations.
The seven-day average of new COVID cases in the USnited States jumped 53 percent from the previous week, the CDC said Thursday.
Health officials have stressed that cases are being driven by unvaccinated Americans.