Pessoa Rapidly Tests Covid-19 at Mobile Test Center in Times Square, New York (United States), July 27 | Photo: EFE / EPA / JUSTIN LANE
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended on Tuesday (27) that people already vaccinated against Covid-19 resume the use of masks in closed public places in regions of the country where the coronavirus infections are on the rise, which includes most of the United States. The decision is an update to guidance made two months ago by the agency, which said people fully immune to the virus could withhold the use of masks in most situations.
CDC officials have also recommended the use of face masks for teachers, students, visitors and school staff in all cases, regardless of local transmission level and vaccination status. Students will return to face-to-face classes in the fall across the country.
CDC director Rochelle Walensky told reporters on Tuesday of concerns about increased transmissions caused by the delta, a highly transmissible variant of the coronavirus, and low vaccination rates in parts of the country.
Walensky cited new scientific evidence showing that the delta variant behaves differently from previous versions of the coronavirus and that even vaccinated people can become infected and transmit the virus. “These new [dados científicos] are of concern and unfortunately require an update of our recommendation, ”said the Director.
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly at the CDC. It weighs heavily on me,” Walensky added, saying Americans are tired and frustrated.
The average number of confirmed Covid-19 cases quadrupled in July in the United States, from around 13,000 daily cases earlier this month to more than 56,000 now, according to Washington Post monitoring. This came after months of sharp drops in the rates of cases, deaths and hospitalizations for the disease.
The new cases mainly affected the unvaccinated. In a presentation to the White House last week, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy reported that 97% of hospitalizations and 99.5% of deaths caused by Covid-19 in the United States occur in unvaccinated people.
“Nobody wants to back down, but we have to face the facts, and the facts show that it is a very scary time and that there are a lot of vulnerable people”, Robert Watcher, director of the department of medicine at the University from California. , the Washington Post said.
“I think our biggest mistake was not to predict that 30% of the country would choose not to be vaccinated,” lamented the doctor.
To date, 163 million people, or 49.2% of the U.S. population, are fully immunized. About 56.9% have already received at least one dose, according to the CDC. Covid-19 vaccines are available free in the country for those over 12 years old.
Faced with the situation, US President Joe Biden said the White House is assessing whether to require federal officials to be vaccinated.
The May CDC’s recommendations that vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks in most situations (except buses, planes, hospitals, nursing homes, and the like) were based on data showing that vaccinated people were rarely infected and could rarely transmit the virus.
The concern now is with the arrival of the delta variant and others that may arise. Although cases of infection in vaccinees are considered rare, epidemiologists have warned of the increase in delta infections in vaccinees, and that vaccinated people who contract this variant can pass it on to other people. others in the same way as those that are not vaccinated. .
“The big concern now is that the next variant that might emerge – which is potentially with a few mutations – might escape our vaccines,” Walensky said.
Every state in the United States is currently on an upward trend in Covid-19 cases, according to New York Times monitoring.