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CDC Makes Indoor Mask Wearing Mandatory In High Transmission Areas As Cases Surge

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As coronavirus infections in the United States continue to surge at an alarming speed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an update reversing its indoor mask policy.

The CDC on Tuesday recommended that fully vaccinated people should wear masks indoors in places where there is risk of high transmission or currently high transmission.

That currently covers about 63 percent of the country, according to the CDC.

"In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends fully vaccinated people wear masks in public, indoor settings to help prevent the spread of the delta variant, and protect others," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters on a call.

The federal health agency also reaffirmed that schools can be reopened this fall for full time classes requiring students to wear masks.

Walensky clarified that this includes teachers, staff, students and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.

CDC said it recommends a return to masking in parts of the country on the basis of new research and concerns about the Delta variant.

In May, CDC had exempted fully vaccinated people from wearing masks in most settings, whether indoors or outdoors.

Making a statement on CDC Guidance, President Joe Biden said he hopes all Americans who live in the areas covered by the CDC guidance will follow it. "I certainly will when I travel to these areas," he added.

The President announced that on Thursday, he will lay out the next steps in his administration's effort to get more Americans vaccinated.

With a whopping 70740 new cases reporting on Tuesday, the national total has increased to 34,604,005, as per the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

The New York Times reported a significantly higher figure of 108775 daily infections.

From an average of 11000-plus cases reported on June 27, the seven day average has surged more than five-fold - to 63248 within a month, according to data analyzed by
the newspaper. This is the highest weekly average recorded since April 21.

COVID-related deaths reported on the same day - 533 - are almost double the weekly average.

Florida reported the most number of cases - 38321 - and most COVID-related deaths - 78.

The number of people hospitalized due to coronavirus infection in the country has risen to 34870, marking 70 percent increase in two weeks.

As of July 27, 188.9 million people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

163.3 million people, or 49.2 percent of the U.S. population, are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

79.8 percent of people above 65 have received both vaccine doses.

A total of 29,571,434 people have so far recovered from the disease in the country.

A total of 342,607,540 vaccine doses have been administered so far nationally.

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