On Tuesday, July 27, the U.S. Department of Disease Control and Prevention The centers recommended that vaccinated individuals wear masks in public building spaces in the community where covid case spikes occur.

With the new policy, the CDC recommends that children in grades K-12 continue to wear masks inside and come to school face to face.

Why does CDC make this switch?

The announcement comes on the heels of a growing contagion from the Delta variant, which earlier this year found the first contagious strain of covid in India. The new policy sounds like backtracking, but CDC director Rochelle Valensky explained that the agency’s decisions are not taken lightly.

“Our guidance and recommendations will follow science,” Vale Lansky said during a press briefing. “The Delta variant is showing us every day a willingness to move forward and be opportunistic in an area where we have not shown a military response to it.”

In May, U.S. Delta was responsible for only 2% of the cases that occurred in, respectively, but according to Johns Hopkins, 82% of today’s samples contain more infectious infections.

Does this change affect me?

Probably (if you live in the US). More than 63% of U.S. people call the CDC a “significant transmission rate,” which means the new policy will apply there. To find out if you live in a place where the covid is growing, visit the CDC’s Covid Data Tracker, which tracks infections by county.

(If you are not fully vaccinated, this will not change much depending on where you live. Eight states, including California, New York and Nevada, already need to mask up unvaccinated people.)

How is the delta variable spread?

The CDC believes that unscrupulous individuals are running the spread. But rarely, even vaccinated people are getting sick and passing the infection, although their cases are much less serious. At the onset of the epidemic, a person with covid can infect 2.5 others on average. But with the delta variable, an infection spreads an average of six more.