Facing surging COVID-19 cases, Clark County Public Health is recommending that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, resume wearing masks indoors to help prevent the spread of the disease.
Public Health made its announcement this afternoon following updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the highly transmissible delta variant spreads rapidly nationwide.
Among the CDC’s recommendations is that even vaccinated individuals should wear masks indoors if they live in an area with substantial or high COVID-19 transmission.
A CDC COVID Data Tracker has identified Clark County as one of a number of counties in Washington with a “substantial” level of COVID-19 transmission.
“Given the current virus activity in Clark County, Public Health is recommending face coverings for everyone in indoor settings, in alignment with CDC guidance,” Clark County Public Health spokeswoman Marissa Armstrong said in an email.
Armstrong noted that COVID-19 vaccines continue to be highly effective at preventing severe illness that can lead to hospitalization and death, even among those infected with the delta variant.
“A small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated may still get COVID-19, but infections in fully vaccinated people tend to be mild,” she said in her email.
Most COVID-19 cases continue to be among people who are unvaccinated. However, some people who are fully vaccinated and get infected with the delta variant may be able to spread the virus to others.
“Getting vaccinated continues to be the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against COVID-19 and slow the spread of the virus in our community,” Armstrong said. “Public Health strongly recommends everyone 12 years and older get vaccinated.”
The CDC is also recommending everyone wear masks in K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status and community virus activity.
The Washington Department of Health has said it is reviewing the CDC guidance. The agency is also responsible for issuing guidance for schools; Armstrong said Public Health is waiting to hear from the state on that topic.