The Centers for Disease Control announced that it is recommending vaccinated people wear masks in public indoor settings and areas of high COVID-19 transmission. The new science shows that the Delta variant is the prominent strand in the United States.
"In recent days I have seen new scientific data from recent outbreak investigations showing that that Delta variant behaves uniquely differently from past strains of the virus that cause COVID-19," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a telebriefing July 27.
This update is the first since May, as new cases continue to increase due to the high transmissible Delta variant. The CDC also recommends universal indoor masking for all K-12 school participants, regardless of their vaccination status.
A spokesperson for Elon University said the university continues to monitor the CDC’s guidance on mask wearing and recommendations for vaccinated individuals. The university will update its mask policy as needed to keep Elon aligned with the CDC policy on mask wearing.
In May, the university announced vaccinated individuals would no longer have to wear masks indoors or maintain physical distancing. The university also joined a growing number of colleges across the country to require students to be vaccinated for the fall semester.
Town Manager Richard Roedner said the town is strongly urging non-vaccinated employees to "mask up" around others and for vaccinated employees to wear masks around those whose vaccine status is unknown. Additionally, the town asks Elon residents to wear masks when inside town offices.
President Joe Biden made a statement following the CDC announcement, telling Americans that the CDC announcement today is "another step" in overcoming the coronavirus.
"Most importantly, today’s announcement also makes clear that the most important protection we have against the Delta variant is to get vaccinated," Biden said in the statement. "Although most U.S. adults are vaccinated, too many are not."
According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, 1,603 new cases were reported July 27, 2021 and 57% of adults are fully vaccinated in North Carolina.
The CDC continues to recommend community leaders encourage vaccination and indoor masking in public settings to prevent further outbreak.
“We must take every step we can to stop the Delta variant and the pandemic,” Walensky said.