Mask Mandates May Return Even For Those Fully Vaccinated As Delta Strain Spreads
Don't throw away those face coverings just yet. Despite mask mandates being dropped in many states across the country, health officials say you still need to wear them, even if you're fully vaccinated.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says safety measures like social distancing, wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, and washing hands still need to be practiced, even for those people who are fully vaccinated. "People cannot feel safe just because they had the two doses," Dr. Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant director-general for access to medicines and health products, said during a news briefing from the agency's Geneva headquarters. "They still need to protect themselves."
Everyone is being encouraged to make wearing a mask a normal part of being around other people, especially with more infectious and more dangerous Delta strain spreading.
Vaccines alone won't stop COVID-19 from spreading in communities. "People need to continue to use masks consistently, be in ventilated spaces, hand hygiene, the physical distance, avoid crowding," Simao said according to MSN. "This still continues to be extremely important, even if you're vaccinated when you have a community transmission ongoing."
A vaccinated New Yorker recently tested positive for the Delta variant. "This incident is a critical reminder that while we have made great strides in fighting this virus, we are not out of the woods yet," said Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan.
The positive resident has since recovered and Ryan says, "the fact that they were vaccinated likely spared them from the worst impacts of the variant."
All residents are being asked to remain vigilant and proactive to stop any further spread of the virus. "I encourage everyone to continue to get vaccinated and we must continue to take all precautions necessary, even if you are vaccinated, to stop any further spread of COVID-19," Ryan said.
10% of new cases in New York City over the last month are from the Delta strain. 23% in just the last week. "Even though this strain of the virus appears to be both more infectious and more dangerous, it appears to also be very responsive to the vaccine," New York City Senior Advisor for Public Health, Dr. Jay Varma said during Mayor Bill de Blasio's daily briefing.
Sounds like that mask-burning party will have to wait a little longer.