UCHealth: COVID-19 delta variant & masks: Should you wear a mask again?

UCHealth: COVID-19 delta variant & masks: Should you wear a mask again?

The facts documented in the following article titled “The COVID-19 delta variant and masks: Should you wear a mask again?” remain sobering. The in-depth story was written by Katie Kerwin McCrimmon from UCHealth Today. In short, health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention once again are advising fully vaccinated people to wear masks indoors in places where the delta variant is spreading fast. What should you do?

Go here for more on Covid in San Miguel County here.

Go here for more on Covid from Telluride Med Center here.

Dr. Michelle Barron gives advice related to the delta variant and vaccines. Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon for UCHealth.

The highly-transmissible COVID-19 delta variant is spreading fast, prompting some health officials and experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to once again recommend masks in crowded indoor settings for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

What should you do? If you’re fully vaccinated, should you wear your mask again indoors?

The answer is “yes” for many people, and certainly for anyone who feels more comfortable wearing a mask. Of course, individual circumstances make a difference when you’re deciding when to wear a mask. So, we reviewed specific scenarios with Dr. Michelle Barron, senior medical director of infection prevention and control for UCHealth and a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Colorado School of Medicine on the Anschutz Medical Campus. Barron is one of the top infectious disease experts in Colorado and also has coped with the loss of family members to COVID-19.

First, why is the COVID-19 delta variant so dangerous?

The delta variant is much more infectious than the original strain of the virus that causes COVID-19. Each person who contracted the original strain on average sickened about 2 to 3 other people. The delta variant, on the other hand, is almost twice as infectious. People infected with the delta variant are passing the virus on to about 4 or 5 other people.

“It’s huge. It’s the perfect storm,” Barron said. “Even if you don’t have a huge portion of the population who are infected with the delta strain, it can spread like wildfire. If you look across the U.S., rates of COVID-19 positivity are skyrocketing because the delta variant is so highly transmissible.”

To help drive down COVID-19 infections, leaders at UCHealth are now requiring all employees, medical staff, volunteers, students, vendors and contractors to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Providing the highest level of safety for our patients, staff and providers is always the top priority for UCHealth,” Barron said.

More and more employers and government entities are requiring vaccines to keep people safe. New York and California officials announced vaccine mandates in recent days.

How can I stay safe from the delta variant?..

Continue reading here for answers to the following:

• What is the new guidance about the delta variant and masks from the CDC?
• What is happening in hospitals now? Who is getting sick?
• In addition to getting a COVID-19 vaccine, what can I do to stay safe from the delta variant?
• Should unvaccinated people wear masks?
• Do I still need a mask in a hospital, clinic or on a plane?
• If I’m fully vaccinated, should I consider wearing a mask again in crowded indoor settings like grocery stores, gyms, hair salons, restaurants and movie theaters?
• Do fully vaccinated people need to wear masks outside?
• What if I’m fully vaccinated and I’m socializing with fully vaccinated friends or family. Do we need masks?
• If vaccines are working so well, why are masks necessary?
• What do you think when you hear people say that the pandemic is over?

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