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In a reversal, the agency is calling for vaccinated people living in COVID hotspots to mask up indoors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is calling on some Americans who are fully vaccinated to begin wearing masks indoors again.
According to a report from The New York Times, the CDC will recommend that people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 re-don their masks indoors at public spaces in parts of the country seeing large outbreaks of the disease.
The move comes two months after the agency told vaccinated Americans they did not need to resume wearing masks due to the protection afforded by the currently available vaccines. Since that time, the highly contagious delta variant has grown to be the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the country and numerous states have seen outbreaks among both the vaccinated and unvaccinated.
The CDC also advises that all teachers, staff, students, and visitors in school be required to wear masks regardless of vaccination status or community spread of the disease, according to the Times.
Just this past weekend, Anthony Fauci, M.D., chief medical advisor to President Joe R. Biden, took to television to warn that the move may be necessary.
Interviewed Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” Fauci said “we’re going in the wrong direction” when it comes to trends in new COVID cases and that new CDC masking guidelines for people are who are vaccinated were “under active consideration.” He added that nearly all the new cases are among unvaccinated people, “and since we have about 50% of the country not fully vaccinated, that’s a problem,” particularly since the Delta variant of the virus can spread so efficiently and “we know we have many, many vulnerable people in this country who are unvaccinated.”
Asked by host Jake Tapper about a model predicting up to 4,000 deaths a day from COVID-19 by the fall if current trends continue Fauci said, “We have the tools to make that model wrong, but if we don’t vaccinate people the model is going to predict we’ll be in trouble as we get more and more cases.”