CDC Announces New Mask Recommendations for Vaccinated Individuals Under Certain Circumstances

The agency is expected to make a statement later today on masking recommendations.

Update 7/27/21 3:30 PM: In a briefing held on Tuesday afternoon, Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, announced the agency’s updated recommendations stating that vaccinated individuals should begin wearing masks again when indoors in public settings in parts of the US with substantial to high transmission.

Additionally, the CDC reversed its recommendations on masking in K-12 schools, stating that all teachers, staff, students and visitors should wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status.

"In recent days I have seen new scientific data from recent outbreak investigations showing that that Delta variant behaves uniquely differently from past strains of the virus that cause Covid-19," Walensky said. "This new science is worrisome and unfortunately warrants an update to our recommendations."

The original article was published on 7/27/21: On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expected to announce a recommendation that vaccinated individuals should begin to wear masks again under certain circumstances.

The announcement comes just 2 months after the CDC announced that vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks in any situation.

The new guidance is due mainly to a recent rise in infections, driven primarily by the more transmissible Delta variant.

Over the previous 7 days, cases of COVID-19 are up 65% across the country, nearly 3 times as high as 2 weeks ago. New cases are currently averaging at around 43,700 a day.

However, the coming announcement is a surprise to many. As recently as last week, a spokesperson for the CDC said that the agency had no plans to change its guidance unless there was a significant change in the science.

In May, when the CDC announced that fully vaccinated individuals no longer needed to wear masks, they pointed to 2 studies touting the efficacy of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

Now, with the Delta variant sweeping through the nation, there is more concern of clusters of infections and breakthrough cases.