Breaking News
More () »

Sorting out mask confusion as health leaders look to get COVID-19 Delta variant under control

The World Health Organization (WHO) is saying even the vaccinated should wear masks. The CDC is leaving it up to local officials to set guidelines.

CLEVELAND — There is confusion over the question of do vaccinated people still need to wear masks due to the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant. It seems that two leading health organizations are not quite on the same page. 

Mixed messaging has been a problem since the very beginning of the pandemic, but this latest one may just be a matter of context.  

Yes, the Delta variant is rapidly becoming the main variant spreading across the planet, which is why the World Health Organization (WHO) is saying even the vaccinated should wear masks. But there's confusion also because vaccination rates aren't as high elsewhere as they are here in the U.S.

RELATED: WHO: Delta variant is 'most transmissible' COVID variant identified so far

"Less than 15% of people around the world have been vaccinated, and many people, of those, have really only received one dose of a two dose vaccine," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC. "There are places around the world that are surging, and so as the WHO makes those recommendations, they do so in that context."

RELATED: CDC director weighs in on wearing masks amid delta variant spread

The CDC is basically leaving the guidance up to local health departments, because we know there are some areas in Ohio that don't have the same vaccination level as others.

Dr. Walensky added that each individual should make their own decisions about masks. If you're vaccinated, but in a crowd of strangers, you may feel more comfortable wearing the mask. If you're not vaccinated, then you should continue wearing a mask and social distancing.

What is more concerning is data that is coming out of Scotland indicating that the Delta variant is twice as likely to put unvaccinated people in the hospital.

We also know the three current vaccines protect against the Delta variant, but slightly less. Johnson and Johnson is about 60 percent while Pfizer and Moderna are about 88 to 90 percent. But they are still effective and still the best way to stop the virus from spreading. 

Editor's Note: The below video from Monica Robins was from a previously published story

Before You Leave, Check This Out