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Illinois health officials align with new CDC masking recommendations

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WREX) — Health officials in the state of Illinois are adopting the updated CDC's masking recommendations.

The CDC recommends that everyone, including fully vaccinated individuals, wear a mask in public indoor setting in areas with substantial and high transmission.  CDC is also recommending universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. 

Data shows the Delta variant is much more contagious, according to CDC data. The Delta variant spreads more than twice as easily from one person to another compared to other strains. 

RELATED: EXPLAINER: Employers have legal right to mandate COVID shots

According to CDC, the Delta variant is causing some vaccine breakthrough infections, but even so, most breakthrough infections are mild, and the vaccines are preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death, says the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Areas of substantial transmission are considered by CDC to be those with 50 to 99 cases per 100,000 people over a 7-day period. Areas of high transmission are considered to be those with more than 100 cases per 100,000 people over a 7-day period. 

According to the CDC's Data Tracker, multiple counties in our area fall under the "substantial" or "high" risk of transmission category.

Here's a look at the counties in our area, according to CDC:

  • Boone: Substantial
  • Carroll: High
  • DeKalb: Moderate
  • Jo Daviess: Moderate
  • Lee: Moderate
  • Ogle: Moderate
  • Stephenson: Moderate
  • Whiteside: Moderate
  • Winnebago: Substantial

13 WREX reached out to the Winnebago County Health Department to see if that means vaccinated people in the county should be wearing their masks indoors again. Here's the statement the health department provided:

Winnebago County Health Department continues to recommend that all individuals consider the risks of COVID-19 and take preventive measures to reduce the spread.  This includes vaccination, masking, social distancing and hand washing. Take extra precautions when in settings in which there may be individuals who are unvaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown e.g. schools, public buildings, stores, entertainment venues.

Winnebago County Health Department
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Andrew Carrigan

Andy Carrigan is the Social Media & Digital Content Manager at WREX. He joined the 13 WREX team as a photographer in 2016 after graduating from Northern Illinois University.

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