World Health Organization (WHO) officials recently released recommendations urging people who have already gotten their COVID-19 vaccinations to continue following mask protocols amid the surge of Delta variant cases.
Authorities from Los Angeles County in Southern California later encouraged vaccinated residents to wear facial coverings indoors to prevent the spread of the deadly variant to other people. Many are now asking if Bay Area officials will follow the recommendations and enforce face mask requirements.
Reinforce Mandatory Face Masks?
Some shoppers in Santa Clara County were seen wearing face masks while making their rounds in the store. When asked, they said they were taking necessary precautions to prevent getting infected by the new Delta variant.
San Jose resident Hae Young Lee said that despite being vaccinated, wearing a mask as much as possible is still the safest way to go out in public or during walks in the morning without risking contracting the Delta COVID-19 variant.
Santa Clara County officials reported the region currently had 59 cases of coronavirus found to be the Delta variant. Authorities are continuing to monitor the situation and the spread of the deadly strain but have not decided to enforce the mandatory wearing of face masks indoors.
Dr. Catherine Blish, a Stanford Infectious Disease Specialist, warned residents of the Delta variant’s high transmissibility compared to the original virus, with an observed increase of 60% among susceptible populations. However, state health leaders are focusing on increasing vaccination rates to increase the public’s protection against coronavirus.
In California, the Delta variant accounts for about 23% of all infections, Dr. Tomas Aragon, the state’s public health director, said in a statement. “We anticipate this percentage will increase. The most important thing we can do to stop the spread of COVID-19 is ensure everyone who is eligible gets vaccinated,” he said, NBC Bay Area reported.
While Blish supported the notion that vaccinations are the best way to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, he also shared the view that vaccinated individuals should continue wearing face masks in certain scenarios. “I think if you’re congregating in large groups with vaccinated and unvaccinated people mixing it’s probably a good idea to still wear a mask,” she said.
California officials revealed there have already been 327 confirmed cases of the Delta variant in the region. Authorities warned, however, that the real number was much higher because not all confirmed cases of COVID-19 are tested for the variant.