CDC now recommends indoor masking for much of NC, all grades K-12

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – In a reversal from past recommendations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends fully vaccinated people living in areas considered substantial or high transmission areas for COVID-19 to wear masks indoors.

On a call Tuesday, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky pointed to new information about the delta variant. Walensky said the variant behaves differently than past mutations.

Additionally, the CDC said unlike past mutations, vaccinated people infected with the delta variant can spread the virus but at lower rates. 

While the agency recommended students return to in-person learning in the fall, it also recommended grades K-12 require masking indoors, regardless of vaccinations.

Walenksy noted a vast majority of transmission is still occurring in unvaccinated individuals.

This guidance is meant to protect younger people not able to get vaccinated, as well as immunocompromised people who are not fully protected with vaccines.

So far, data shows the vaccines are working against the delta variant, but the big concern for the CDC is future mutations.

The CDC worries the virus may take advantage of unvaccinated people and mutate far enough to evade vaccines. 

Check to see if your county has substantial or high transmission below.

Orange counties represent substantial transmission, while red counties mark high transmission.

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