If most people are vaccinated and the Delta variant spreads, who will need to mask up indoors?

Family Healthcast

(WSYR-TV) — As people head into Fourth of July weekend and look forward to spending time with family and friends at picnics and barbecues, the World Health Organization surprised a lot of people by recommending fully vaccinated people continue wearing masks. 

Many people wonder about the need for masks indoors considering how many people have been vaccinated. The issue gets more complicated when considering the Delta variant that is quickly spreading. 

The short answer is: it depends on where you are and who you ask.

Onondaga County has one of the highest vaccination rates in the state. However, some places in the U.S. are way behind. With the Delta variant now responsible for 1 in 5 covid cases here in the U.S., unvaccinated people are vulnerable.

Los Angeles County now says it strongly recommends that everyone wear masks indoors as a precaution against the Delta variant, adding that it accounted for nearly half of all cases sequenced in the county.

Given how fast-moving the variant is, a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists says: “We’re not at the level of vaccinations where we can release the brakes on everything else.”

Other scientists disagreed, saying guidance has to be tailored to local conditions.

“The W.H.O. is looking at a world that is largely unvaccinated, so this makes sense,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health.

With that said, Dr. Jha says if he were living in Mississippi or Missouri, in places with low vaccination rates, he would not be eager to go indoors without a mask, even though he’s vaccinated. Long story short: it all depends on where you are.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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