Should you wear a mask indoors? This at-a-glance map will tell you


The unfold of the Delta variant of the coronavirus has launched a new section of the pandemic in america.

Throughout the nation, COVID-19 circumstances are rising each among the many vaccinated and the unvaccinated. This week, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention up to date its steerage about masking. The group has lengthy really helpful that unvaccinated folks wear masks indoors, however as of Tuesday, it’s advising vaccinated folks to mask up indoors in some high-risk areas. This newest steerage is a results of new CDC research that finds that whereas it’s uncommon for vaccinated folks to get contaminated with the coronavirus and unfold it to others, so-called breakthrough circumstances do occur.

Because the charge of unfold varies a lot from each day, and from area to area, this steerage presents new challenges for vaccinated folks. If you had grown used to the liberty of not sporting a mask, you now must do analysis concerning the newest COVID-19 numbers in your space, then decide whether or not it’s time to dig out your masks and preserve them helpful each time you’re in an enclosed public house.

Test your location here. [Screenshot: NPR]

Happily, NPR has created a useful map that’s usually up to date with CDC information concerning the charge of unfold at a county stage. The map is color-coded to determine areas of low, average, substantial, and excessive unfold. To calculate the speed of transmission, the CDC identifies the variety of new circumstances per 100,000 residents, in addition to the proportion of COVID-19 assessments that got here again optimistic within the earlier seven days.


If you dwell in a county in a purple zone on the map, the place charges of unfold are substantial or excessive, the CDC recommends you wear a mask indoors, whether or not or not you’ve been absolutely vaccinated. However public health experts level out that even in locations with low to average unfold, there could be causes to proceed masking. For example, if you dwell with immunocompromised folks or youngsters who’re too younger to be vaccinated, it could be smart to take additional precautions to keep away from bringing the virus dwelling.

As of proper now, roughly two-thirds of U.S. counties are experiencing substantial or excessive transmission charges. In no less than three states—Florida, Louisiana, and Arkansas—each single county has excessive or substantial group unfold of the virus, so the CDC recommends everybody wears a mask.

In line with evaluation by PHICOR, a public well being analysis group, areas with low charges of vaccination are actually seeing larger charges of coronavirus transmission. Counties in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas, the place vaccination charges are low, are experiencing giant COVID-19 outbreaks. Researchers warning that even in locations the place vaccination charges are as excessive as 70% or 80%, there may nonetheless be pockets of vulnerability.