COVID-19 Update: To Wear or Not to Wear a Mask??

vaccinated still wear a mask

A recent poll found that more than half of vaccinated people are still wearing masks. And in light of the new Delta variant surge, mask mandates are returning in areas such as Kentucky, St. Louis, and Los Angeles after a proliferation of new cases.

With all the conflicting information, making the decision of whether to mask up can be a hard one. Health experts are urging people to follow their local guidelines. 

Whether to Wear a Mask: Making a Decision

With all the conflicting information it can be confusing and frustrating. Should you wear a mask? Where and when? A cartoon by Malaka Gharib in NPR illustrates that you might want to wear a mask when:

  • Around immunocompromised or unvaccinated people
  • In crowded settings
  • In areas with high COVID-19 transmission rates
  • You feel like it!

Here are a few good reasons to still mask up if you can:

  1. Vaccines are not 100% effective (most are 95 percent)
  2. Masks add another layer of protection and peace of mind
  3. Masks protect against all strains of the virus
  4. Wearing a mask prevent spreading the virus
  5. Masking up helps protect the immunocompromised and unvaccinated

“Do whatever it takes for COVID to go away,” said Dr. Andy Dunn of Wyoming Medical Center. Though it’s frustrating, taking more precautions might be what certain areas of the country need to do at this time.

Even vaccinated people can be affected and get breakthrough Delta variant infections. Delta variant infections now account for 83 percent of cases in the U.S.

One good way to make the decision whether to wear a mask is to check the CDC map county view of coronavirus transmission by community. If your community has a high transmission rate and a low vaccination rate, you might want to wear a mask.

For now, it is safer for older adults and those who are immunocompromised to keep wearing masks, especially in crowded, indoor settings.

Buses, airplanes, and medical facilities still require masks, as do some businesses. Be on the lookout for local guidelines. 

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Related Resources

5 Reasons Why Seniors, Vaccinated or Not, Should Still Wear Their Masks

CDC COVID Data Tracker

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