The CDC said it plans to update its face masks to reflect the change and better align with its guidelines for fully vaccinated people.
Until then, the agency said it would “exercise its discretion” not to require masks in areas outside of transport hubs, such as bus or train stops, or in open areas. air on ferries, carts or buses.
The CDC ordinance refers to public transport, which includes “planes, trains, subways, buses, taxis, carpools, maritime transport, trolleys and cable cars”.
“While those who are fully vaccinated may resume many activities without wearing a mask, the travel environment presents a unique set of circumstances based on the number and close interaction of travelers (both vaccinated and unvaccinated).” , said the CDC.
People who have not yet been vaccinated should continue to wear masks in these areas, the CDC said.
The agency maintains that vaccinated and unvaccinated people should continue to wear masks indoors on public transport, except in certain circumstances, such as when eating, drinking or taking medication.
General surgeon: unvaccinated people are exposed to a potentially more dangerous variant
“For those who are not vaccinated, they are increasingly at risk as more and more variants develop,” Dr Vivek Murthy told CNN on Wednesday, specifically citing variant B.1.617.2, or Delta variant, first identified in India.
“The news about the Delta variant really shows why it is so important for us to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” he said, adding that the variant is more transmissible and potentially more dangerous.
Concerns about the risk of variants ending a nationwide reopening are shared by many experts and health officials.
“We don’t want to let happen in the US what is happening now in the UK, where a troublesome variant is essentially taking over as the dominant variant, which has made it very difficult in the UK,” a- he declared. Wednesday, adding that the Delta variant accounts for more than 6% of viruses sequenced in the United States.
While the United States has been “very successful” in vaccinating its people, said Fauci, “we cannot declare victory prematurely because there is still a substantial proportion of people who have not been vaccinated.”
Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Wyoming have the lowest vaccination rates in the country, according to CDC data. And authorities are urging citizens that the best way to get ahead of the variants is to get vaccinated.
“The good news is that when they looked at the Pfizer vaccine, they found that it was effective enough after two doses to protect even against the Delta variant,” Murthy told CNN.
Moderna asks FDA to clear vaccine for teens
“We are pleased to announce that we have filed emergency use authorization for our COVID-19 vaccine with the FDA for use in adolescents in the United States,” said Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna. “We are encouraged that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has been very effective in preventing infection with COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 in adolescents. ”
If licensed, Moderna would be the second Covid-19 vaccine available in the United States for adolescents. The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, initially licensed for people 16 and older, got EUA last month for 12 to 15 year olds.
Initial observations revealed that none of the children who received the vaccine fell ill with Covid-19 as of 14 days after their second dose. Four children who received a placebo tested positive for the virus.
In the meantime, an FDA vaccine advisory committee is meeting on Thursday to discuss, in general, the data needed to support the authorization of Covid-19 vaccines for children, including those under the age of 12.
States seek to reduce restrictions
In another example of local optimism with improved Covid-19 numbers, about two dozen states have decided to reduce their daily tracking of cases, hospitalizations and deaths, Johns Hopkins University said this week.
Many states have reduced to five updates each week, while others have fallen to three times or less. Florida, for example, has fallen to once a week.
Some health officials are calling the move premature in the face of current vaccination rates, citing needed improvement in these areas before states can release the accelerator pedal regarding Covid-19.
“As far as I know, we are still in a public health emergency as a country… This has not been downgraded yet,” Lori Tremmel Freeman, executive director of the National Association of Health Managers, told CNN. health of counties and cities. Wednesday.
Several states also announced this week their intention to further relax the Covid-19 protocols. South Carolina lifted an emergency order issued to the state, touting what Gov. Henry McMaster called the state’s “timid” approach to closures and restrictions.
“It is no longer necessary to have a state of emergency, although it is still necessary for us to be smart, to follow the rules, to follow the guidelines and to be very careful,” said McMaster. .
In New York, the state plans to lift “virtually all” restrictions related to the pandemic when 70% of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said in a press release on Wednesday. The state was then at 69.1%, according to the press release.
CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas, Adrienne Vogt, Deidre McPhillips, Jacqueline Howard, Jamiel Lynch, Laura Ly, Lauren del Valle, Nadia Kounang, Rebekah Riess and Naomi Thomas contributed to this report.