Alarmed by an alarming surge triggered by a “substantial spread” of coronavirus infections, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has finally recommended the use of protective masks indoors regardless of whether or not they’re fully vaccinated.
Defining substantial spread as a transmission involving 50 per 100,000 persons per week, the CDC particularly set its sight on schools and other indoor public places and recommended that personnel, students, and visitors to seriously consider wearing protective face masks upon resumption of classes, if only, to add up protection against the dreaded coronavirus disease.
Except for the Aurora Public Schools which are pushing unvaccinated teachers to use masks, the majority of metro Denver school districts are yet to decide whether or not they’ll be imposing its mandatory use.
However, the Colorado state health department, in a statement said that they would first have to review the CDC’s recommendations, citing the power of the state or counties to issue their own public health orders.
Gov. Jared Polis doesn’t seem too convinced on the idea of imposing mandatory use of protective masks as he remained firm on his previous stance — increased vaccination as the best way forward.
“The bottom line is that the vaccine is the most effective form of protection that we have, and we’re doing everything we can to make the vaccine accessible in every community,” he said Tuesday. “For folks who haven’t been vaccinated, especially with the spread of the delta virus, they should continue to use masks when they’re around others, especially in indoor places.”
Previous reports indicated an increase in new coronavirus infections in Colorado over the past several weeks as manifested in the data showing an increased hospital admission due to COVID-19. The figure however is comparatively lower than compared to the previous surges.
As of July 27, 41 of Colorado’s 64 counties recorded as many cases as compared to population, based on data coming from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Inclusive of the report is the Denver metro area and the rest of the Front Range, most of the western half of the state, and a few counties on the Eastern Plains.
As for Jefferson County, its public health officials in a separate statement said that they would still have to wait for the full guidance from the CDC and the state health department before reviewing its guidelines. In the meantime, their policy warranting unvaccinated teachers and students to wear masks when they return to class stays.
“Given that the more transmissible delta variant is widely circulating in our state, we support mask-wearing as a precaution for anyone in indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status,” the statement reads.
Oddly though, Mesa County, which is deemed as a hotspot for the mutated coronavirus strain referred to as Delta variant, is not bent on issuing a mask mandate.
“We continue to recommend unvaccinated individuals wear a face-covering in public, and with the presence of the delta variant in our community, continue to urge all residents, regardless of vaccination status, to take precautions in high-risk settings, such as indoors or when interacting with groups where vaccination status may be unknown,” Stefany Busch, spokeswoman for the local health department, Mesa County, said in a statement.
Both Los Angeles and St. Louis earlier ruled to re-impose the mandatory use of protective masks indoors as confirmed COVID-19 infections were seen averaging 57,000 cases per day, while hospital admission due to infections shot up to over 24,000 — literally decimating two months of hard work against the virus.
Likewise being pushed are measures that would compel Americans to get themselves vaccinated, following President Joe Biden’s announcement on Tuesday about requiring federal workers to get vaccinated.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has also required its healthcare workers to get the required jabs to be safe from the dreaded coronavirus disease.
But New York City and the state of California seemed more determined to keep their workforce intact by compelling public employees to get the vaccine or submit to weekly testing.