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VERIFY: Here's why the CDC recommends masks for vaccinated people

The CDC reversed course on its mask guidance. Now, it recommends masks for vaccinated people in specific areas across the country.

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reversed course when it comes to masks, even if you're vaccinated against COVID-19.

With COVID-19 cases rising and the Delta variant spreading, the CDC said this move is needed, at least for now.

The big headline is: The CDC asking people to put on a mask indoors in some places even if they’re vaccinated. However, this recommendation doesn’t apply to everyone. It applies to people in areas where COVID-19 reaches dangerous levels.

THE QUESTION

Where and when does the new CDC vaccinated mask guidance apply?

THE SOURCE

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the Director of the CDC.

THE ANSWER

The CDC recommends vaccinated people wear masks indoors in areas that have substantial or high community transmission of COVID-19.

WHAT WE FOUND

“It is not a welcomed piece of news that masking is going to be a part of people's lives who have already been vaccinated,” Dr. Walensky said in a media call.

The CDC defines areas of substantial or high transmission of COVID-19 as counties where there are more than 50 cases per 100,000 people, over the course of 7 days. You can see the CDC's full county spread map here.

In our area, most of D.C., Maryland and Virginia don’t fall in this category. However, a few counties do.

Here’s where the CDC recommends masking up in the DMV: In Virginia, we have Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Spotsylvania, Stafford and Warren counties.

In West Virginia, the CDC recommendation applies to Berkley and Morgan counties.

The CDC also went broader mask with guidance when it comes to all schools.

“Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with proper prevention strategies in place,” Dr. Walensky said.

The head of the CDC said she advises all students, faculty, staff and visitors in K through 12 schools should be wearing masks regardless of their vaccination status.

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