The real reason CDC is updating their mask guidelines

(Image credit: Shutterstock)The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), updated their mask guidance on Tuesday, July 27th. It stated that people who have been fully vaccinated should wear masks indoors if they are exposed to coronaviruses.Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, stated that "new science has been presented regarding the delta variant" and advised that the guidance on what to do once you have been fully vaccinated be updated. She said that the delta variant behaves "uniquely" differently to other variants.She said that data from the U.S. as well as other countries suggests that the virus may be contagious in some people who have been vaccinated.Similar: Delta variant: All your questions answeredUnpublished data indicates that people who have been vaccinated against the delta variant of the virus carry approximately the same amount of viral load as those who were not vaccinated. This is in contrast to earlier coronavirus variants. Walensky stated that people with breakthrough infections could transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others in the same way as those who have not been vaccinated. Live Science reported that other research has suggested that people infected by the delta variant could have a 1000-fold greater viral load than those infected during the initial outbreak in Wuhan. However, this research is not yet peer-reviewed.However, it is rare for breakthrough infections to occur and the majority of coronavirus transmission occurs through unvaccinated people, Walensky stated.Walensky stated that the vaccines do an outstanding job of protecting people who have been vaccinated against severe illness, hospitalization, death, and mild illnesses. However, "we feel it is important that people understand that they can transmit the virus to other people" if they get the delta variant.She said that COVID-19 vaccines can reduce the risk of a symptomatic breakout infection by sevenfold if exposed to the delta variant. They also help to lower the likelihood of death and hospitalization by up to 20 percent.Walensky stated that the CDC had recommended for months that unvaccinated people get vaccinated. He advised that they continue to mask until they have been fully vaccinated. Live Science reported that the CDC revised its mask guidance in May to state that people who are fully vaccinated can travel to all indoor and outdoor areas with no masks.Walensky stated that the updated guidelines now state that fully vaccinated individuals should wear masks indoors in areas of "substantial" to "high" coronavirus infection.Substantial transmission is when a county reports between 50 and 100 cases per 100,000 cases over a weekly. High transmission is when a county reports more than 100 cases for every 100,000 cases over a weekly. Walensky stated that some counties have reported more than 300 cases per 100,000 people over the course of a week. This is something "we're worried about". You can check your county's transmission rate at the CDC website.She said that schools are now required to wear masks indoors. This includes staff and students, as well as visitors, regardless of their vaccination status.Walensky stated that the delta variant means that more Americans need to be vaccinated. "Locals with low vaccination rates, and unvaccinated people are the most vulnerable to severe consequences and cases.Original publication on Live Science