The Centers for Disease Control reversed course Monday and said it now recommends indoor masks for the vaccinated in all areas of the country where COVID infections are surging. CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky cited unpublished data from recent days suggesting that vaccinated people may be able to spread the Delta variant just as easily as unvaccinated people.
We're back in a phase of constantly shifting information and data — and just last week we had experts casting doubt on whether vaccinated and mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic cases should be counted as "breakthrough" cases, and others casting doubt on whether vaccinated people could spread the virus easily.
But as was expected, the CDC changed its tune about masking on Tuesday, recommending that vaccinated people resume wearing masks in crowded indoor settings. And, it should be noted, that while outdoor gatherings are still being considered safe, some experts are also now casting doubt on what assumptions to keep with the Delta variant. Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, one of the world's leading epidemiologists, pointed to some recent "fleeting" transmission cases in Australia, albeit indoors, that appeared to happen with barely any close contact whatsoever.** And an outbreak of around 1,000 attendees at an outdoor music festival in the Netherlands appears to confirm that widespread outdoor transmission of the Delta variant is possible in crowds.