@CDCgov data indicates that @CuyahogaCounty is now at “substantial transmission” of #COVID19 and recommends masks indoors for everyone, including those that are vaccinated. https://t.co/dpthGAuJmZ pic.twitter.com/36X2zF2Yly— Terry Allan (@TerryAllanCCBH) August 2, 2021
The Director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Terry Allan, announced Monday morning that in Cuyahoga County, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now now recommends wearing masks indoors for everyone, including those who have been vaccinated. The recommendation is due to the spread of the Delta Variant and rising case numbers in recent weeks.
Cuyahoga joins Lorain, Geauga, Medina and Portage counties as those with what the CDC considers "substantial” transmission, the threshold Allan referenced in his social media post. The CDC has four designations for transmission severity: low, moderate, substantial and high. It recommends wearing masks indoors in areas that have broached the "substantial" zone. That connotes an area with new infection rates of 50 or more per 100,000 residents.
When Allan tweeted this morning, Cuyahoga County was at 52.55 cases per 100,000 residents. As of two p.m., the county is now up to 56.35 cases per 100,000, an increase of more than 40% over the previous seven days.
While case numbers are rising, hospitalizations and ICU admissions remain low, and the risk of severe cases are still extremely low for vaccinated people. CNN reported, in the wake of the CDC's revised masking recommendations, that 99.99% of vaccinated people have not contracted a so-called "breakthrough Covid case" which resulted in hospitalization or death.
Still, vaccinated people can carry and transmit the virus to others. That's the primary rationale for widespread mask usage. The CDC has said that the Delta Variant is as contagious as chickenpox.
In Cuyahoga County, 52% of the total population and 60% of those 12 and older have been fully vaccinated. Nationwide, vaccination numbers have been on the rise due largely to fears of the Delta variant.
Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.