Marion County seconds CDC guidance that everyone mask up in indoor public spaces

The Marion County Public Health Department took a cue from the United States’ top public health authority Tuesday when it urged all residents, vaccinated and unvaccinated, to wear masks in enclosed public spaces.

Department officials also suggested a set of yes-or-no questions that could help residents decide when masking is appropriate.

Two months after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that vaccinated Americans could stop masking, the federal agency on Tuesday reversed course for some situations, in light of “worrisome” new data.

As of Monday, the highly contagious Delta variant accounted for 86% of Indiana’s COVID-19 cases. That’s on par with the rest of the county: Eight in 10 sequenced samples are Delta, according to the CDC.

“In recent days I have seen new scientific data from recent outbreak investigations showing that the Delta variant behaves uniquely [and] differently from past strains of the virus that cause COVID-19,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a virtual news conference Tuesday. “… This new science is worrisome and unfortunately warrants an update to our recommendations.”
Vaccinated people with rare breakthrough cases involving the Delta variant could carry as much of the virus as an unvaccinated person with COVID-19, Walensky said.
Marion County’s health department seconded the new guidance Tuesday.

“Consistent with the latest guidance from the CDC, the Marion County Public Health Department recommends that all Marion County residents wear masks in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status. This is especially important for those who are, or who live with someone who is, at higher risk for complications from COVID-19,” the health department said in a statement.

Also included was a set of questions vaccinated residents could use in deciding whether to wear a mask in any given situation:

  • Is this an indoor space?
  • Are there potentially unvaccinated people in this space?
  • Am I (or those who I live with) at higher risk for complications from COVID-19?
  • Is the current case rate in Marion County at an Orange or Red level according to the CDC?

If the answer is “yes” to at least three, the health department recommends a mask.

For now, one of those is an automatic “yes.” The CDC’s county-level COVID-19 data tracker shows that Marion County is currently in the orange zone, which indicates “substantial” community transmission for the week ending in July 25. The orange color ranking is for areas with 50-99 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents or 8-9.9% test positivity rates for the last week.

In fact, all nine of the counties that comprise the Indianapolis metropolitan area are considered “orange” or “red” (even higher transmission) zones.

The health department is urging holdouts to get better protection via vaccination, noting that that just 1.5% of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Marion County were vaccinated. That means 98.5% weren’t.

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9 thoughts on “Marion County seconds CDC guidance that everyone mask up in indoor public spaces

  1. This is going to go even more poorly than the first implementation of masks.

    All we are doing is asking those who played by the rules, wore masks and got shots … to sacrifice on behalf of people who don’t care one whit.

    Ban the unvaccinated from public spaces. I personally am struggling to show compassion towards those who willingly choose to make the pandemic last longer via their actions.

    1. Agree with you 100%. Most of us actually followed protocols for a year, while these people spent their time cursing out store employees for telling them to wear a mask. Those of us that actually sacrificed our personal lives for the betterment of society now deserve a break. These people who refused to wear a mask, and now refuse to get vaccinated, should be forced to stay home now. Their insurance companies should also deny coverage if they are hospitalized with Covid-19.

  2. How do we know what they are saying is true with all the past undeniable falsehoods in the last blast? Fauci can’t get his story straight.

    Is the Delta Variant Real?

    Is this another political scheme to weaponize the virus for round #2 to take our country to its knees again with Biden making the job that much easier?

    It’s proven that mask didn’t and don’t work with viruses.

    Social Distancing didn’t work.

    Obviously the “vaccines” didn’t work.

    Things at this point, are the masks a suggestion or mandatory???

    1. See, I’m supposed to make more sacrifices for people like Darrell who don’t understand how science works and refuse to take personal responsibility for their actions.

      They think it’s all nonsense. Ban them from the ER and ICU. If they reject modern medicine, let them find some leeches and essential oils to help their symptoms. Maybe eat some Clorox wipes and see if that helps.

      Letting people with a death wish either die or get COVID is the only way out of this. I wish people didn’t have to die either but it’s their choice.

  3. Would be interesting if health insurers started to decline hospital / medical coverage for people who are unvaccinated. The government has tried with “carrots” so far but might be time for a “stick.”

    1. At the very least, hospitals should be prioritizing care for any breakthrough cases, people with compromised immune systems who couldn’t get the vaccine, and those under 12 who were ineligible.

      Then if they have space and the desire to put their staff at risk for the people who refuse the vaccine, I guess it should be their choice to treat them if they wish. I mean, we want to push the idea that doctors shouldn’t have to help people they don’t agree with because of their religious beliefs. Let’s see how that goes when it means wheeling COVID deniers out to the curb for the coroner to get them a day later.

      (And, yes, I am aware of the Hippocratic Oath.)

  4. Instead of providing more reasons to entice and convince folks to get the vaccination, the CDC, Fauci, and the stumbling White House has now created no reasons to get vaccinated. Another total failure of psychology!

  5. Simply a choice, if you choose not to vaccinate you assume the risk. Life is the US is supposed to be about the freedom of choice. If you want to wear a mask, go for it. Making everyone wear a mask penalizes the vaccinated. Let people evaluate and assume the level of risk that they are comfortable with don’t dictate to people.