Two SE Minnesota Counties May Have To Revisit Face Mask Policies
St Paul (KROC AM News) - Public health officials in some Minnesota counties may soon be hearing from the state in response to the latest Covid guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC on Tuesday issued an advisory that included a recommendation that masks be worn while indoors in areas where Covid cases are rising at a high rate - even if people are vaccinated.
According to the Star Tribune, fourteen Minnesota counties fall under the new recommendation and two are in the southeastern part of the state - Dodge and Waseca.
The CDC is also recommending K-12 students, teachers, and staff wear masks while indoors, even if they are vaccinated.
Rochester Public Schools has already adopted a new policy based on the CDC recommendations, even though Olmsted County has a low transmission rate. The School Board Tuesday approved the recommendations calling for students under 12 to wear a mask while inside a district building. Older students and staff will be encouraged but not required to wear a mask. The quick action was led in large part by this week’s beginning of the 2021/22 year at Longfellow elementary school.
Here is a summary of the CDC recommendation for indoor settings:
Risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, severe disease, and death is reduced for fully vaccinated people. Though they happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, some infections do occur among fully vaccinated people. Fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can transmit it to others. Therefore, fully vaccinated people can further reduce their risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant and transmitting it to others by wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission. Wearing a mask in public is most important for people who are immunocompromised. Fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated. People at increased risk for severe disease includes older adults and those who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, overweight or obesity, and heart conditions. Members of the household who are unvaccinated include any adults who have not completed vaccination, who cannot be vaccinated, and those who are not eligible for vaccines, including children less than 12 years of age. Fully vaccinated people should also continue to wear a mask where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance, and in correctional facilities and homeless shelters. Prevention measures are still recommended for unvaccinated people.
CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with proper prevention strategies in place.
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