Will you have to mask up even though you’re vaccinated? The breakdown of the CDC’s mask recommendation

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GREATER WASHINGTON AREA (WDVM) — CDC director Roshelle Walensky announced on Tuesday that now vaccinated people should also wear masks in “high or substantial transmission” areas.

From the CDC’s website, this is a map of America’s transmission rates. The red in the Southeastern portion shows a high transmission area, while blue means low transmission.

From CDC’s website

In the DMV Region, Maryland and DC Are in yellow, meaning moderate transmission and no masks for vaccinated folks. Virginia is half moderate and half high transmission.

From CDC’s website

CDC director Roshelle Walensky explaining why the CDC reverted its recommendation to lose the mask earlier this month.

“We acted with the data that we had at the time, said Walensky. “The data that we have the time, the country mostly had alpha, the data that we have right now is different, we have a country that is full of the delta. Delta is a more transmissible virus and the new data that delta is able, in those rare breakthrough infections, to be transmitted to others.”

She repeats the message that many health experts have been expressing.

“The most important thing that we need to say right now is we have a lot of this country that has a lot of viral burdens that’s driven a lot by people who and mostly by people who are unvaccinated.”

Sean Morris, COVID Epidemiologist with the Prince William Health District, says cases are on the uptick.

“You know, we have seen a rise in covid cases, right now in moderate transmission,” said Morris. “In terms of cases arising they are and I don’t really expect them to do anytime soon without a major shift in behavior or vaccination levels.”

He says there’s something we can do to bring the numbers back down and that’s getting the COVID vaccine. In response to the CDC’s updated policy, Morris says masking up is a case by case basis.

“Based on your own risk level, we know outdoors, better ventilation away from other people. What level of risk are you willing to take? What level of risk are those, you know, around you and your family are you concerned about?”

Ultimately all Northern Virginia counties are considered moderate transmission areas but bordering high or substantial transmission regions.

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