Led by the CDC, mask advisories are making a comeback as COVID-19 cases rise across the country — including masks for those who are vaccinated in indoor public settings.
This week, the CDC reversed its mask advisory, recommending that fully vaccinated people begin wearing masks indoors again in places with high transmission rates.
According to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, the reverse in course was based on new science regarding the spread of the Delta variant, which indicates that some vaccinated people could carry higher levels of the virus than previously understood and potentially transmit it to others. Though fully vaccinated individuals represent a very small amount of transmission, she said, masking will help prevent them from infecting others.
In mid-May, the CDC had advised that fully vaccinated people no longer needed to wear masks indoors or outdoors.
Several cities and counties, notably in Nevada and California, but also in New Orleans and in Eastern states including Provincetown, Mass., had already been advising people to don their face coverings whenever they’re indoors. After the CDC announcement, others followed, including Illinois and Oregon. Kansas City, Mo. and several other counties and cities, issued mask mandates.
Among the areas reimposing masking advisories is Clark County Nevada, home to meeting mecca Las Vegas. Expect to see those serving meetings and events scheduled for Las Vegas to again be wearing face masks — the Clark County Board of Commissioners on July 20 updated its health policy to follow the latest guidance from the Southern Nevada Health District and advise all employers — including hotels, resorts, convention centers and casinos — to ensure their employees are masked up while inside the facility. Venues also are advised to post signage encouraging all who enter, whether vaccinated or not, to wear masks indoors; however, at this time, visitors are not included in the Clark County advisory. The change came after the area saw a 50% rise in COVID cases in one week.