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Mask up: New CDC guidance recommends vaccinated Americans wear mask indoors in areas where cases are surging

Posted at 11:30 PM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 12:14:28-04

BALTIMORE — The CDC is reversing course on earlier mask guidance and is now recommending that fully vaccinated Americans in areas with high or substantial transmission should wear a face covering indoors.

The agency also said everyone in K-12 schools need to wear a mask regardless of their vaccination status.

The announcement comes as the new and more contagious delta variant fuels a rise in cases across the country.

“In this response, it’s much better to be right than consistent," said Dr. David Marcozzi who is the Chief Clinical officer for the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Dr. Marcozzi, who is also a senior medical advisor for Governor Larry Hogan on COVID-19, said he supports the CDC’s new guidance now that there’s more evidence which shows vaccinated Americans can spread the virus.

“To limit that transmission with masks is an important step that we need to take," he said.

The state of Maryland continues to fare better than most states across the country when it comes to COVID-19.

On Tuesday, more than 300 new cases were reported, but the delta variant accounted for more than half of them, according to the state health department.

Vaccine hesitancy is becoming one of the biggest hurdles as about 24 percent of Marylanders have yet to be vaccinated.

Dr. Marcozzi is urging for them to get their shot before it’s too late.

“A lot of people upfront said you know what I'm just not going to get the vaccine, I'm just not going to get it. You know that’s a gamble and right now we are finding out that’s doubling down on a bad bet," he said.

Some vaccinated Marylanders also said they support the CDC’s new guidance, especially if it means slowing down the spread and helping put an end to the pandemic

“I’m an educator so I want to make sure when I go back to the classroom in august that I'm doing whatever to keep my students and myself safe," said Marie Beasley.

"I think the delta variant poses a possibility of us having a high case load again," said Patrick Hanlon. "If the CDC feels that the numbers are right such that we need to wear mask again than I’m comfortable with that.

Local leaders said they are reviewing the CDC's new guidance and monitoring COVID-19 metrics closely. As of now, several county leaders said a mask mandate will not happen at this time.

RELATED: Where does your county stand in light of new CDC guidance

Dr. Marcozzi said state and local leaders should be open to a mask mandate as an option to slow down the virus.