CDC updates mask guidance with concerns about transmission rates, Delta variant


The CDC released updated guidance Tuesday encouraging even those who are fully vaccinated to wear masks in areas of high or substantial transmission and in public indoors. 

Kelly Snawerdt

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance for masks Tuesday based on high transmission rates across the country for COVID-19.

The CDC website states that to reduce the risk of being infected with the Delta variant of COVID-19 and possibly spreading it to others, vaccinated individuals should wear a mask indoors in public if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission. 

This advice is a change from the past guidance given by the CDC, which said Americans who were fully vaccinated could stop wearing face coverings. 

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. counties have high or substantial transmission of COVID-19, according to the most recent data from the CDC.

Story County is considered a county with a high level of community transmission, with 51.7 percent of the total population fully vaccinated and 55.1 percent with at least one dose of vaccines.

As with all other CDC COVID-19 guidance, it is most important that those who are not vaccinated, have a weakened immune system or are at an increased risk for severe disease due to age or an underlying medical condition wear masks.