A collection of opinionated commentaries on culture, politics and religion compiled predominantly from an American viewpoint but tempered by a global vision. My Armwood Opinion Youtube Channel @ YouTube I have a Jazz Blog @ Jazz
and a Technology Blog @ Technology. I have a Human Rights Blog @ Law
WHO says vaccinated people should wear face masks, but the CDC doesn't. Here's why The World Health Organization issued an official recommendation on Friday, as a result of rising cases of the coronavirus Delta variant. Here's what's happening now.
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.
The World Health Organization officially recommended that people who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus should continue wearing face masks to curb the spread of the virus, including dangerous new variants. The recommendation announced Friday comes in response to rising coronavirus cases around the world, driven by the Delta variant that was first identified in India, and which has become the dominant strain in many countries around the world, including the UK, South Africaand Malaysia.
COVID-19 cases are steadily on the rise again and only 10.7% of the world is fully vaccinated. WHO's recommendation contradicts that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a global authority on infectious diseases that has received some criticism during the pandemic. The CDC website currently advises that people who are fully vaccinated can stop wearing masks, and that groups of people can congregate -- for instance, at home or a concert. Here's what we know about the WHO's guidance on masks.
Why does the WHO say vaccinated people should wear face masks?
Wearing a mask consistently continues to be important, even for people who are vaccinated, WHO Assistant Director General Dr. Mariângela Batista Galvão Simão said during a press briefing on June 25. "People cannot feel safe just because they had the two doses. They still need to protect themselves."
Get more out of your tech
Learn smart gadget and internet tips and tricks with CNET's How To newsletter.
Wearing masks in public places is essential to help people from inhaling particles that will cause them to become sick, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, an American infectious disease epidemiologist, said during the same briefing.
Watch this:Your phone might be a powerful tool to help stop the...
What does the CDC say?
The CDC's current guidance on mask wearing continues to remain the same for fully vaccinated people. The guidelines say those who are fully vaccinated can "resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing" except where required, such as planes and businesses.
The CDC warned CNN on Saturday that there's still a small chance fully vaccinated people can become infected with the new variant if they're exposed.
We've asked the CDC for comment.
Why is the Delta variant important?
The Delta variant is the latest of new coronavirus variants, and is the most contagious of the variants identified so far, according to the WHO. The Delta variant has been identified in 85 countries so far and is spreading among the unvaccinated population, the organization said during the press conference.
"The Delta variant is currently the greatest threat in the US to our attempt to eliminate COVID-19," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a White House press briefing June 22.
Will there be a return to face mask mandates and lockdowns?
Some countries have already begun tightening COVID-19 restrictions. For instance, four cities across Australia have returned to lockdown, including Sydney's state of New South Wales. In the US, Los Angeles County is strongly recommending face masks indoors, regardless of whether someone has been vaccinated or not, though masks aren't required in most places. Some countries within Africa and Asia -- for instance, South Africa and Malaysia -- have also moved into lockdown due to the Delta variant spreading.
Some places never loosened mask mandates, such as airports and airlines. In the US, other public transportation facilities require masks, such as buses and trains.