Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves Says CDC's Mask Guidelines Are 'Foolish'
Governor Reeves said the new mask guidance "has nothing to do with rational science.""Tuesday's change in the CDC mask guidance is foolish, and it is harmful," Reeves said Thursday at the Neshoba County Fair, according to local news station WAPT.
The CDC's decision Tuesday to reverse course and urge even fully vaccinated Americans to wear masks indoors in areas of high coronavirus transmission isn't likely to crush community spread, experts say – but it might ratchet up pressure on the unvaccinated and encourage businesses and schools to implement mask mandates.
The CDC is also now recommending universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors inside schools from kindergarten to 12th grade, regardless of vaccination status. That aligns closely with guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommended this month that anyone older than 2 be required to wear a mask in school.
Washington Nationals sued by ex-employees over vaccine firing
The Washington Nationals are being sued by two former employees who were fired for refusing to comply with the team’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Lawrence (Larry) Pardo and Brad Holman were pitching coaches in the Nats’ organization. The two refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine for religious reasons and were fired by the Nats as a result. The team instituted a mandate on Aug. 12 that went into effect on Sept. 10, leading to the firing of both men.Now the two have filed a lawsuit against the club, TMZ Sports reports.
The CDC and the AAP are still urging that children return to full-time in-person learning in the fall.
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"The delta variant is showing every day its willingness to outsmart us and be an opportunist," CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a briefing Tuesday. "In rare occasions, some vaccinated people infected with the delta variant after vaccination may be contagious and spread the virus to others. ... This new science is worrisome and unfortunately warrants an update to our recommendations."
According to the new science, she said, fully vaccinated people with breakthrough infections from the delta variant have a similar viral load to infections in unvaccinated people. That means the fully vaccinated are more likely to spread the virus with the delta variant than the original coronavirus.
Here's where you should wear a mask indoors under new CDC guidance
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday released updated guidance that recommended many Americans again wear masks when they venture into indoor public spaces such as grocery stores, theaters and arenas.The update came amid an alarming rise on COVID-19 cases across the country that suggests the highly contagious delta variant is surging and can also be transmitted by people who have been vaccinated.The guidance itselfThe update came amid an alarming rise on COVID-19 cases across the country that suggests the highly contagious delta variant is surging and can also be transmitted by people who have been vaccinated.
"If you have a vaccinated individual who is in a place with substantial or high transmission – and they're contacting a lot of people – 1 in 20 or 1 in 10 could possibly lead to a breakthrough infection" even with a vaccine that's 90 to 95% effective," Walensky said.
The goal behind the guidance may be to protect both the fully vaccinated and the unvaccinated, health experts say, especially vaccinated people who may be immunocompromised and children under 12 who aren’t yet eligible to get their shot.
But the reality is there’s hardly any transmission among fully vaccinated people to truly affect community spread, they say.
“There isn’t a whole lot of benefit that’s going to be felt by this. … We have good data that vaccinated people don’t spread COVID as efficiently as unvaccinated people,” Dr. Eric Cioe-Peña, director of global health at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York, told USA TODAY.
Overnight Health Care: CDC advises vaccinated to wear masks in high-risk areas | Biden admin considering vaccine mandate for federal workers
Welcome to Tuesday's Overnight Health Care. White House reporters are returning to wearing masks in the briefing room. And after a busy day of health news, much of the country is advised to wear indoors masks again too. If you have any tips, email us at [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected] Follow us on Twitter at @NateWeixel, @PeterSullivan4, and @JustineColeman8. Today: The CDC backpedaled its previous relaxation of mask recommendations, advising the fully vaccinated to wear masks in high-risk areas.
He suspects the new recommendations may be more successful in getting unvaccinated Americans to wear masks in public and empowering businesses and schools to implement mask mandates without requiring proof of vaccination.
Masks in schools?: More doctors and officials are pushing for them
Video: CDC recommends vaccinated wear masks indoors in some areas (CNBC)
Health equity: US hospitals struggle to reduce health disparities: Minority patients underrepresented in 4 of 5 hospitals
The CDC’s recommendations now also align more closely with local health departments that already have reimposed mask mandates because of rising coronavirus cases, said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor and infectious disease expert at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee.
“This gives more of an opportunity for local health departments to not look as though they’re doing something different than what the CDC is suggesting,” he said. “There was always an option for locals to make that determination, but now it’s much more explicit.”
The CDC’s announcement comes a few days after Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief COVID-19 medical adviser, said the agency was reexamining mask recommendations amid surging cases triggered by the highly transmissible delta variant.
“We’re going in the wrong direction,” he told CNN on Sunday.
The delta variant accounts for more than 80% of COVID-19 cases across the United States, according to the CDC.
Johns Hopkins University data shows daily cases are nearly doubled what they were last summer, and wearing a mask is an extra layer of protection to prevent another fall surge, said Dr. Ilan Shapiro, medical director of health education and wellness at AltaMed Health Services, a Los Angeles network of community health centers.
“We already know how that movie ends,” he said. “Right now, we’re trying to protect every human being that we have around us (regardless of vaccination status), as the delta variant has proven to us that it’s a very effective jumper.”
Health experts urge fully vaccinated people to consult their local health department websites for mask guidance and vaccination rates. If rates are below 70%, they recommend wearing a face covering in indoor public places or crowded outdoor gatherings.
CDC backtracks on masks guidance for vaccinated people, schools
In changing the recommendations for masking, the CDC cited increasing concern around the fast-spreading delta variant. The public health agency also recommended schools embrace universal masks, departing from guidance released earlier this month that suggested vaccinated students and staff were safe to go without.
The No. 1 recommendation, however, will always to be to get vaccinated, Cioe-Peña said.
“We have the tools and we’re one of the only countries in the world that can end the pandemic, and we’re just choosing not to,” he said. “We’re choosing to extend our pandemic, and that’s frustrating.”
For those who are already vaccinated, Schaffner urges them to be flexible and patient as CDC recommendations are likely to change again with fluctuating vaccination rates and coronavirus transmission.
“The virus is in charge, and we have to respond to what the virus is doing in our communities,” he said. “Some people would think of that as a step back, but when the opposing team makes a lot of points, you have to change your defense.”
Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT.
Health and patient safety coverage at USA TODAY is made possible in part by a grant from the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare. The Masimo Foundation does not provide editorial input.
A man wears an American flag face mask on July 19, 2021 on a street in Los Angeles on the second day of the return of the indoor mask mandate in Los Angeles County due to a spike in coronavirus cases. The US surgeon general on July 18 defended a renewed mask mandate in Los Angeles, saying other areas may have to follow and adding that he is "deeply concerned" about the Covid-19 outlook in the fall. LA County reported another 1,233 Covid-19 cases, the 11th consecutive day the number has topped 1,000.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents several of Harvey Weinstein's accusers, arrives at a news conference following an arraignment for the convicted rapist and former movie mogul on additional sexual assault charges in California, at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in Los Angeles.
People wear face coverings as they pass through Union Station on July 19, 2021 in Los Angeles,. A new mask mandate went into effect just before midnight on July 17 in Los Angeles County requiring all people, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a face covering in public indoor spaces amid a troubling rise in COVID-19 cases.
Fans wearing masks enter Dodger Stadium on July 19, 2021 for a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants.
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People gather in Grand Central Market on July 19, 2021 in Los Angeles. A new mask mandate went into effect just before midnight on July 17th in Los Angeles County requiring all people, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a face covering in public indoor spaces amid a troubling rise in COVID-19 cases.
Employees check out customers at 2nd Street second hand store Monday, July 19, 2021, in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles. Los Angeles County has reinstated an indoor mask mandate due to rising COVID-19 cases.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'New science is worrisome': CDC recommends wearing masks indoors, again. What that means for vaccinated Americans.
CDC to recommend masks for vaccinated people in some situations .
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plans to adjust its mask recommendations to advise people vaccinated against COVID-19 to again wear masks indoors in certain situations, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed."It's obviously a decision the CDC made," she told reporters Tuesday. "The president was briefed this morning by Dr. [Anthony] Fauci but beyond that, we've been aware of their discussions with our public health officials.