(The Center Square) – Public health officials announced Tuesday that the state will follow updated guidelines regarding mask use issued by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC recommended that everyone, including those who have been fully vaccinated, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas with substantial and high transmission. The agency also recommended universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status, according to a news release.
“While data continues to show the effectiveness of the three COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized in the U.S., including against the Delta variant, we are still seeing the virus rapidly spread among the unvaccinated,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “Cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 both continue to increase, overwhelmingly among the unvaccinated, but the risk is greater for everyone if we do not stop the ongoing spread of the virus and the Delta variant. We know masking can help prevent transmission of COVID-19 and its variants. Until more people are vaccinated, we join CDC in recommending everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask indoors in areas of substantial and high transmissions, and in K-12 schools.”
Areas of substantial transmission are considered by CDC to be those with 50 to 99 cases per 100,000 people over a 7-day period. Areas of high transmission are considered to be those with more than 100 cases per 100,000 people over a 7-day period, according to a news release.