Delta Variant – It’s The Time For Masking And Testing, Even For Vaccinated People

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : August 7, 2021

Public health experts now warn to not to ditch masks and testing as highly transmissible Delta variant is rising across every state in the United States. People should continue wearing masks and should continue testing in areas, particularly where vaccination rates have stalled, and  Covid-19 cases are rising.

On Wednesday, an epidemiologist at Tulane University School, Susan Hassig, said í think it is  now necessary to follow masking indoors no matter where you live.’ She said that her home state of Louisiana is on the peak of hospitalized covid patients since the pandemic.   Every part of the state is at the highest risk level. On Wednesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards declared indoor masking mandatory until 1 September for people aged five and older who enter businesses, schools, and churches, irrespective of their vaccination status.

Delta Variant – It’s The Time For Masking And Testing, Even For Vaccinated People

Hassig added that ‘I cannot tell that how different it feels as the virus is spreading so fast. Also, many countries on the local levels are turning red and orange on a daily basis. It is also very critical to mask and test on suspicion of exposure. ‘many other parts of the countries are also experiencing a rise in cases, other parts include Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, which are struggling with the infection as their vaccination rates remain below 50 percent of their population.

Also Centre for Disease Control and Prevention mandates indoor masks in areas with high covid transmissions, which are 80 percent of all US countries. According to the interim dean of the school of health sciences, Karl Minges, it is time for the majority of the population to get back to early pandemic times, irrespective of their vaccination status. Therefore, they should wear a mask outdoors and indoors and follow social distancing and hand sanitization. He also added that people should be aware of how crowded the place is and the covid positivity rate for the area before going outdoors.

Delta Variant - It’s The Time For Masking And Testing, Even For Vaccinated People

Before this week, New York City became the first city to need proof of vaccination for indoor activities at gyms, restaurants, and performance spaces. Though about half of the city’s population is fully vaccinated, the rate of new vaccinations had also risen. Also, about 72 percent of tested cases of the virus have been because of the Delta variant, as per city health data.

Executive medical director for infection prevention and control, Dr.Emily Landon, said, attending an outdoor concert in a small gathering if you are vaccinated and unmasked is fine. It should depend upon the person’s comfort level. But the same rule does not apply to large-scale gatherings in events or music festivals where people gathered together. The reason is that the Delta variant is more contagious in comparison to other variants, and in such gatherings where people gather in large groups, the time required for the virus to spread is much smaller.

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According to experts, masks are vital if you will be around people whose vaccination status is still unclear and where you cannot maintain proper distancing. In a pre-delta situation, you could be fine by not getting masked in the workplace if everybody is vaccinated, but the delta is different and should not be considered light.

CDC also suggested that fully vaccinated people should get tested three to five days after exposure even if they have no symptoms as they can be asymptomatic. Thus the recent mask regarding guidelines by CDC is to ensure the vaccinated people would get no transit virus to others that can include unvaccinated and people with the low immune system. Also, because the covid testing does not clarify that an individual has a delta variant, as experts test positive, it should be assumed that they have delta strain. Hassig says, ‘Genie is out of the bottle, and unfortunately, it is a nasty one.’

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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