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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Are Mask Mandates Back As Delta Variant Rips Through The Country?

Local officials across the United States, from LA to Massachusetts, are requesting Americans to continue wearing masks as the new Delta variant spreads at an alarming rate through the country.

Several counties are now asking all residents to wear masks in public settings regardless of whether they’ve been jabbed with the vaccine or not.

Are Mask Mandates Back As Delta Variant Rips Through The Country?

Local leaders in multiple other states have also taken similar measures and reinstated the mandate of masks, issued face-covering suggestions, and threatened people with the reinstating of public health limitations if federal health guidelines which state that people who have been vaccinated do not have to follow those protocols in most settings are defied.

Southern Nevada Health District’s Jennifer Sizemore said that this increase in cases was expected as the community began to open up again. Nevada’s Clark County started enforcing its mask recommendations more strictly last week after Covid cases rose by over 50% the preceding week. 

A total of 4600 new cases were reported with 33 people dying from Covid.

There was an air of optimism due to months of reducing case numbers, but suddenly, infections are rising again as the count shot up by over 55% last week across the country. There was an average of 37,000 new cases every day for the past 7 days.

The CDC on the 13th of May revised mask mandate guidelines saying that fully vaccinated people did not need to use masks or practice social distancing in most settings. 

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the Director of the CDC said at a Senate hearing that the agency is reviewing its mask guidelines actively as and when the virus evolves. Scientists learning more about the new variants requires them to keep constantly change their guidelines.

She added that a lot has changed since 13th May and that we currently have a Delta variant which used to be just 3% of the cases and is now almost 83% and far more transmissible.

Areas with particularly low vaccination rates are worse affected by the new variant. Nearly 2/3rd of the counties in America have vaccinated lower than 40% of their people and this allows the rapid surge in the spreading of the virus. This consequently is leading to a rise in hospitalizations and deaths.

This is starting to be seen in Nevada which has a fully vaccinated population of just 43%. Clark County had 640 new Covid hospitalizations the past week which is 23% higher than the number in the week preceding that.

What’s concerning is that the vaccination rate is slowing down and unvaccinated people are not adhering to the recommended guidelines. This includes wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

Seven counties in the Bay Area of California reinforced wearing masks indoors. Berkeley also called for a similar precaution to be taken. 

Los Angeles County too reinstated its mask mandate on Saturday. They had initially done away with the mandate, but seeing the surge in cases, they revoked their recommendation.

Clearly, Nevada is not the only state calling for masks to be worn.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said that Los Angeles County’s new mask mandate could be used as a prototype by other areas of the country which have similar infection rates. He said that schools and businesses are likely to continue enforcing their own mask mandates.

In Massachusetts, officials advised individuals to resume wearing masks even indoors after the 4th of July celebrations caused a huge outbreak.

In Louisiana, Mayor LaToya Cantrell authorized an indoor mask advisory to curb the rapid spread of the new Delta variant.

New Jersey’s Governor said that for the time being, they hope that they can avoid reinstating a mask mandate.

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