CDC recommends a return to indoor mask-wearing in high transmission areas

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Photo credit Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that fully vaccinated Americans should wear masks indoors in parts of the country where COVID-19 transmission rates are high.

"Given emerging evidence that some vaccinated people can get or spread Delta, we are recommending people in substantial and high transmission areas consider masking, even if they’re fully vaccinated," said the CDC.

The updated guidance comes at a time when the highly contagious Delta variant is spreading throughout Los Angeles County and the country.

Map of the United States with color-coded transmission rates.
Map of the United States with color-coded transmission rates. Photo credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

According to the CDC, much of Southern California is considered to have high rates of transmission.

Los Angeles County is currently experiencing a surge in COVID-19 caused caused, in part, by the variant. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer also pointed to the increase of intermingling of unmasked people who may or may not be vaccinated as a cause for the county's high numbers.

“We are seeing a surge in cases in LA County that looks somewhat similar to last summer," Ferrer said in a statement. LA County has already instituted a return to indoor mask-wearing regardless of vaccination status to try and drive numbers back down.

Hospitalization numbers also continued an upward climb on Monday. State figures showed more than 800 people being treated for the virus in LA County. That is more than double the number from two weeks ago.

LA County reported 2,067 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 additional deaths on Tuesday. The daily test positivity rate is now 5.7%. That rate is up from 1.2% on June 15 when County fully reopened.