This news comes after the CDC recommended indoor masks in areas of “high” and “substantial” transmission.
The Chicago Department of Public Health is recommending the use of face coverings in public indoor settings following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last week the CDC put out a nationwide recommendation encouraging indoor face coverings in areas of “high” and “substantial” transmission.
According to the CDC’s Level of Community Transmission map, Chicago is now meeting the CDC’s criteria for “substantial” community transmission with more than 200 new COVID-19 case diagnoses per day. 400 cases per day would then take Chicago into the “high” transmission category which could bring more severe mitigation measures.
The CDPH guidance applies to anybody over the age of 2 regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not. A recommendation is not a mandate, so masking up is currently not compulsory, but things may soon change among different counties in the coming days and weeks.
The new mask recommendations come as a result of the Delta variant. New data is showing spikes in positivity rates due to the Delta variant being far more contagious than earlier Covid variants. According to a CDC report it is “more transmissible than the viruses that cause MERS, SARS, Ebola, the common cold, the seasonal flu, and smallpox, and it is as contagious as chickenpox.”
“We are taking this step to prevent further spread of the very contagious Delta variant and to protect public health. This isn’t forever, but it is necessary to help decrease the risk for all Chicagoans right now” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady.
Dr. Arwady also yesterday revealed that “99.9% of vaccinated Chicagoans have not been diagnosed since being vaccinated” – a statistic she said holds nationally.
Mask usage is still mandatory on public transport and in high-risk spaces such as health care settings and it will be mandatory in Chicago Public Schools when they reopen on Monday, August 30.
Keep track of where the CDC is recommending mask usage by selecting specific states and counties in the CDC’s data tracker map.
[Featured image from Shutterstock]