With the highly contagious Delta variant spreading, particularly among unvaccinated Americans, it may be time to hit the “reset button” on pandemic response and for much of the country to put masks back on. Los Angeles County reinstated a mask mandate over the weekend, requiring masking indoors regardless of vaccination status.
Dr. Leana Wen, a CNN medical analyst, explains that the nation is in a different place than it was a month ago. “We should follow the example of LA County and say that if there are places where vaccinated and unvaccinated people are mixing, then indoor mask mandates should still apply.”
The medical analyst said there are two exceptions to the occasions she thinks people should be wearing masks indoors in public. The first is when everyone is vaccinated and has provided proof. The second is if there is a very high level of community vaccination.
Cases are surging in the US. The country averaged 37,055 new cases a day across a week as of Tuesday — 54% higher than the prior week and more than two and a half times the average recorded about two weeks ago (13,665), according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
On Monday, US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra signed a renewal of the public health emergency status due to the virus for another 90 days, as some states are seeing particularly worrying impacts of the pandemic.