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July 27, 2021

CDC updates indoor masking guidance in response to new data on Delta variant

Updated guidance recommends all in K-12 environments wear masks indoors and that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask in COVID-19 hot spots

On July 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) changed its guidance regarding indoor masking, representing a third change in indoor mask guidance in the last three months. The updated guidance recommends "universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status" and that "fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission." In a press conference announcing the changes, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky reiterated that CDC guidance and recommendations "will follow the science," citing new data finding that the Delta variant behaves "uniquely different from past strains," in that some vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant may be contagious and spread the virus to others. She continued to "strongly encourage" everyone to get vaccinated and noted that the highest spread continues to be in places with low rates of vaccination.

A summary of the changes can be found here.


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For additional information concerning this Alert, please contact:
Washington Council Ernst & Young
   • Heather Meade (
   • Laura Dillon (