On July 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided interim public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people based on new evidence of the Delta variant currently circulating in the United States.
Mason County is currently a “substantial” risk area, according to the CDC.
While infections can happen in only a small portion of people who are fully vaccinated, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others.
To reduce the risk of becoming infected or spreading COVID-19, including the Delta variant, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people in areas of substantial or high transmission should:
• Wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission;
• Fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated. People who are at increased risk for severe disease include older adults and those who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, overweight or obesity, and heart conditions;
• Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms;
• Get tested 3-5 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until a negative test result;
• Isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms;
• Follow any applicable federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.
People who are immunocompromised should be counseled about the potential for reduced immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines and to follow current prevention measures — including wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others they don’t live with, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces — regardless of their vaccination status to protect themselves against COVID-19 until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
The CDC also recommends universal masking for all K-12 schools, including teachers, staff, students and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.
Currently, the Delta variant has been identified in three counties within District Health Department No. 10’s jurisdiction: Crawford (1 case), Missaukee (3 cases), and Oceana (1 case).
Because only random and specifically requested samples are being tested for variants, the health department states that it should be assumed that the Delta variant is present in all of its counties.
The health department will be adding variant data to the Data Dashboard beginning Monday, Aug. 2 and will update it weekly.
Also, a transmission tracker map of overall COVID-19 transmission levels by county is now on the home page of the health department’s website with mask recommendations listed by county. The map will also be updated weekly, but individuals can check daily on the CDC website.
To stay up to date on the latest information, sign up for Public Health Alerts at www.dhd10.org/subscribe.