As people began to feel some hope and less worried regarding following the SOPs to mitigate the risk of COVID-19, there is news revolving around that the new mutations of this virus might come back, which might be even stronger than the previous ones.
One such version is the Delta variant and is regarded to be a highly contagious SARS-Cov-2 virus strain. This version was firstly identified in India back in December 2020. The delta variant spread rapidly in India from where it reached Great Britain and now is spreading abruptly in the United States.
Let’s disclose all the helpful information you need about the Delta variant of the COVID-19 and find out how getting vaccinated and wearing masks can help mitigate the risk of getting affected by this fatal version of the COVID-19.
Delta Variant of the COVID-19
The genetic variants of the SARS-Cov-2 are emerging and circulating. We know that different variants of a virus occur when a change takes place in the virus genes. The virus is changing because it is the nature of the RNA viruses to change continuously.
Delta variant is the latest and currently active variant of the COVID-19. The delta variant has led to a surge in COVID-19 cases all across the globe, particularly in the U.S. The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) suggests that nearly 80% of the cases currently are the Delta variant.
Facts about the Delta Variant
You must know the following things about the Delta variant of the COVID-19.
- Delta Variant is much more contagious than the other virus strains
- Unvaccinated people are at a higher risk of getting affected by this variant
- This variant may cause much more severe illness compared to the previous strains among unvaccinated people
- Vaccination and wearing masks is the best protection against delta
CDC Guidance on Wearing Masks for Vaccinated People Indoors
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors in some areas, including schools. Earlier, at the start of July, CDC released a statement that it is ok for vaccinated teachers and students to skip wearing the masks.
Previously, the guidelines said that fully vaccinated people could resume their activities without wearing a face mask or maintaining social distances except where required.
The CDC changed its guidance regarding wearing masks and recommended that people continue wearing masks indoors, particularly in those areas where COVID-19 cases are on the rise.
Americans are confused and even outraged regarding these changes of statements by the CDC. Most of them are not impressed by the idea of wearing face masks even after getting vaccinated.
Why CDC Changed its Statement and Made Face Masks Compulsory for Vaccinated People?
The question is, “why has there been a sudden change in the guidance of CDC regarding wearing masks for vaccinated people indoors?” The answer is because of the delta variant. A spike in the CVID-19 cases has been observed across the U.S. That’s because of the highly contagious delta variant of the COVID-19.
CDC has currently warned that there are considerable chances that fully vaccinated people can get infected with the new variant if they are exposed to it. Hence, they have made it essential for everyone to wear face masks, even if they have got vaccinate against COVID-19 or not.
Furthermore, CDC had to revise their statement when they came across the data, which depicted that the delta variant spreads as abruptly as chickenpox. Also, it can be spread by people who are vaccinated and may cause more severe illness compared to other variants.
Additionally, after carefully studying the research-based data, the health officials agreed that vaccinated individuals bearing infections of the delta variant have viral loads compared to unvaccinated people and hence may easily transmit the virus to people around them.
Vaccinated Individuals May Spread the Virus
CDC claims that the highest spread of the delta variant is being observed in places with low vaccination rates, and almost all hospitalizations and deaths have occurred among unvaccinated people. However, it does not mean that vaccinated people aren’t at risk of getting affected or spreading the virus. The latest data released from CDC in July shows that vaccinated people can also transmit Delta, which officials didn’t believe was the case with other variants.
World Health Organization (WHO) Recommendations on Wearing Masks
Similarly, the World Health Organization recommends that individuals continue wearing the masks to combat the delta variant of the COVID-19, particularly in crowded areas. World Health Organization suggests that citizens strictly follow the SOPs even if they have passed the two-week mark after receiving their second vaccine dose of Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca.
Both WHO and CDC recommend that individuals who are not vaccinated must continue wearing face masks.
How are Businesses responding to CDC’s Recommendation on Wearing Face Masks?
The business owners and restaurants are cooperating with the community and are strongly abiding by the rules and regulations set by CDC. To combat the spread of the delta variant, most restaurants have already implemented the policy, “No vaccination, No service.”
Similarly, all other brands strictly abide by the CDC’s mask-wearing policy and encourage customers to do the same.
· Target, Walmart, and Costco
Target, Walmart, and Costco were allowed to drop masks for vaccinated shoppers and employees after the CDC statement was issued in May. However, with the latest press release by CDC, where it made compulsory for all to wear masks, the trio brands have updated their policy and made it mandatory for the employees and the shoppers to cover their face with face masks.
Similarly, Kroger released a statement saying that it strongly encourages customers to wear face masks. The company said it would continue implementing all state and local mandates and encourage Americans to get vaccinated, including their associates.
One day after the CDC made it compulsory for everyone to wear masks, Apple announced it has made it mandatory for all its employees and customers to wear face masks and get vaccinated as soon as possible.
In short, all businesses contribute to the local communities and are abiding by the governmental and CDC policies so that the nation can play a role in mitigating the spread of the delta variant.
CDC’s Mask Wearing Guidance for Students and Teachers
CDC’s guidance regarding wearing face masks for teachers and students is obvious. The kids who aren’t vaccinated and are aged two years or above must wear masks when inside; however, they can skip wearing masks when they are outside.
The students and teachers who are fully vaccinated must continue wearing the masks inside the school building. Furthermore, the CDC suggests a universal mask technique for child care programs and regarding schools with children less than 12 years old.
Wearing masks can be made mandatory for everyone if the cases are higher in a particular community.
What Types of Masks Should I Wear?
Most people question that does the type of mask I wear matter? The answer is yes, it does. There are strong recommendations by CDC on wearing masks to stay protected from the COVID-19 virus.
CDC suggests that people wear masks with two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric, and it should have an adjustable wire to help with fit. There should be no to a minimal gap between your face and nose. And your mouth should be covered.
Benefits of Branded Masks
Company Branded face masks have gained a significant reputation in the recent past. Branded face masks not only ensure your employees’ health and safety but serve to be a valuable marketing tool keeping your business in mind.
You can wear these masks as they offer numerous benefits at workplaces, schools, colleges, and universities. Let’s discuss some of the benefits of wearing branded face masks.
1. Advertising and Brand Recognition
After choosing the recommended fabric for the masks, you can add your brands’ customized logo and get them printed on colors that represent your brand. In this way, your brand will gain a reputation and get recognized in the community.
If your company already provides branded staff uniforms, you can add face masks to the kit to keep the branding consistent and deliver a message of harmony among the employees.
Furthermore, you can also give customized masks to your customers on your site, store, or at events, as we know that face masks are now a part of our daily life. Your customers will wear these masks at public locations, and your brand will promote your brand.
2. Branded Masks are better for the Environment
Disposable masks can be used once and have to be disposed of after each use. On the contrary, a reusable mask can be washed multiple times and hence does not burden the landfill. Thus, these masks are better for the environment. There are some good quality masks available which can be washed even 50 times.
3. Saves Your Money
As mentioned earlier, reusable masks can be washed and used again and again. Hence, they help you save money because you will not have to buy a new mask again and again. Furthermore, if you order bulk masks for your brand, you will get an additional discount and end up saving more money.
4. Promotes Professionalism
When you wear a branded mask with your company name and logo printed on it, the face-covering looks more attractive and promotes professionalism. Wearing masks indicates that you are a responsible citizen and value yourself and the health of the community. It demonstrates that the brand values the health and safety of the employees and the community. Resultantly, this practice has a positive impact on the staff and customers.
5. Available in Various Sizes
You can get your masks printed and designed in various sizes ranging from small to large and made of stretchy cotton fabric. Hence, kids can also use these masks as they provide comfort and offer a secure fit.