FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The Centers for Disease Control is recommending that face masks be worn indoors once again, even for fully-vaccinated individuals, in some areas.
Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Matthew Sutter tells WOWO News it’s because of a spike in COVID-19 cases both locally and nationwide, spurred on by the Delta variant of the disease:
“Our cases got down to, like, nine a day for our seven-day average in the middle of June and we’re up in the 60s now,” Sutter says. So we’ve had a 600% increase in cases.”
As for whether or not we’ll see mask mandates return locally, Sutter says there isn’t a specific benchmark for when that could happen because of Allen County’s strong vaccination rate for those 65 and older.
“Last year before the vaccines, we had a pretty good idea when our cases went up what that would mean for hospitalizations and deaths. Because we have pretty good vaccination rates in the over 65 (area), that really changes the equation.”
The CDC is also recommending masks be worn in schools, regardless of students’ vaccination status. Sutter says the situation is “really hard” on local school systems, and points out that with schools requiring masks for in-person learning last year, the transmission of colds and the flu were also considerably lower.
“With many of the school systems choosing to be mask-optional, there’s a good chance for a lot of transmissions there. It could be disruptive for the school year.”