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Do I have to wear a mask indoors in Summit County? Health officials change mask recommendations

The recommendation is in line with what the CDC says to do in areas of significant spread of the virus.

SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio — EDITOR'S NOTE: The video in the player above is from a previous story about COVID-19.

As the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus spreads in Ohio, another county is recommending the indoor use of masks.

Though Summit County has not yet reached the level of "substantial" spread of COVID-19, health officials say, there has been an increase in cases involving the Delta variant. Therefore, it is recommending all individuals, vaccinated or unvaccinated, wear masks indoors until further notice.

Summit County Public Health said on Tuesday, mask mandates for those who are vaccinated were dropped back in May because the Delta variant represented only 1% of all COVID-19 cases. Now, that number has reached 80% of all cases, and the Delta variant of COVID-19 is infecting vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. The highly-contagious Delta variant is now the prominent strain circulating in Summit County.

"Masking, along with social distancing and regular disinfecting is highly effective in stopping the spread of COVID-19," health officials said in a press release. They also said that "vaccination remains our best defense against the COVID-19 virus."

Summit County health officials are also recommending that all students and staff in schools should be masked up while indoors, except while seated and eating or drinking, or while they're participating in sports.

"Masking along with social distancing of at least three feet will help lower transmission risks for both vaccinated and unvaccinated staff and students. Schools should be aware that consistent and correct mask use, in addition to the maximizing of physical distancing, are needed to allow unvaccinated students to remain in the classroom setting following a potential classroom exposure," Summit County health officials said in a press release Tuesday.

"Masking on school buses is required based on the order issued by the CDC on January 29, 2021 requiring all conveyance operators to require masking. Schools are required to notify Public Health of all positive cases within 24 hours of becoming aware of a student, teacher, staff member, or coach who has tested positive or been diagnosed with COVID-19," they said in the press release.

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home and isolate from other household members. You should also be tested for COVID-19.

Summit County Public Health offers free COVID-19 testing for students, school staff and their families. Health officials say you can schedule that through your school.

Summit County residents who would like to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in your home, please call our call center at 330-926-5795 or visit http://tiny.cc/schomevax to schedule an appointment. All three vaccines are available through the county's home-based vaccination program.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The video in the player below is from a previous story.

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