Hope you didn’t throw away that face mask.
On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that all adults ― even those fully vaccinated — wear masks indoors if they live in areas with “high” or “substantial” transmission of COVID-19.
That encompasses nearly two-thirds of all U.S. counties, including eight in New Jersey.
Monmouth County is the only county with what the CDC currently calls a high transmission rate, but it isn’t alone in being targeted by the updated guidance. Seven others — Bergen, Essex, Union, Middlesex, Ocean, Burlington and Atlantic — are seeing rates of transmission that the CDC classifies as “substantial,” the next step down.
The CDC said the categories are based on a combination of new cases per 100,000 people, as well as the test positivity rate over the previous seven days.
The latest guidance comes as the highly contagious Delta variant has become the predominant strain of the virus. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, said Tuesday that the variant is behind many of recent outbreaks and has been found to behave “uniquely differently” from past strains that have been studied.
“Information on the Delta variant from several states and other countries indicates that, in rare occasions, some vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant after vaccination may be contagious and spread the virus to others,” she said, calling the development “worrisome.”
She added that vaccination, even with the Delta variant, continues to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
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