MAGIC VALLEY — The CDC reversed its indoor mask policy Tuesday and is recommending people, even those who are fully vaccinated, continue wearing a mask in indoor public places.
They also recommend students returning to school full-time in the fall wear a mask.
“Now these situations are quite specific. They are asking all individuals in indoor public areas, in areas of substantial transmission, to wear masks again, even if you have been vaccinated," said Brianna Bodily, South Central Public Health District spokesperson.
The new recommendations come after COVID-19 cases surge across the nation including, the Magic Valley. These changes also come just before the fall, when cases are expected to rise again due to some people returning to work and students returning to school full time.
“Now almost every school district, everyone that I know of is going back to full-time learning indoors in their schools," Bodily said. "Social distancing in most cases is not being practiced anymore. We still have hundreds of kids under the age of 12 who haven’t even had a chance to be vaccinated. And plenty of kids over the age of 12 who have not yet been vaccinated."
The Delta variant also poses a risk. The health district says so far, in the region, there has only been one confirmed delta variant case.
“We suspect there are many more. The genetic testing required to determine whether or not it’s a variant is very complex so a lot of samples don’t qualify. Typically what happens is you go into a provider you give them a sample then they test they let you know whether or not you have COVID-19, well with some of those tests it weakens it enough that they can no longer test it for the variant," Bodily said.
They say this is why individuals need to follow the guidance from the CDC, even if fully vaccinated.
“When the CDC makes adjustments like this its because they have extra data or something else that makes them believe this will be more helpful to protect your health. The CDC doesn’t gain anything by requiring people to wear masks or telling people to wear masks. They only do it to protect your community," Bodily said.