Unvaccinated Americans shouldn't travel for Labor Day, all Americans should wear masks indoors: CDC

All Americans — regardless of vaccination status — should wear masks in public indoor settings, and unvaccinated people should avoid traveling for Labor Day, according to Rochelle Walensky, MD, director of the CDC.

"First and foremost, if you are unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling," Dr. Walensky said during an Aug. 31 White House news briefing

"Throughout the pandemic, we have seen that the vast majority of transmission takes place among unvaccinated people in closed, indoor settings," Dr. Walensky said, adding that gatherings among vaccinated Americans should occur outdoors.  

When considering the high transmissibility of the delta variant and the significant community transmission in the U.S., wearing a mask is the easiest way for anyone, regardless of vaccination status, to slow the spread of disease, Dr. Walensky said.

The U.S. is seeing a seven-day average of more than 100,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations per day, the second highest surge next to last winter's, The New York Times reported. On Aug. 27, COVID-19 deaths hit an average of more than 1,000 a day for the first time since March, according to the Times.

In mid-July, the U.S. was administering an average of 500,000 daily vaccinations, compared to Aug. 31, when the average was 900,000 — an 80 percent increase, Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 response coordinator, said Aug. 31.

Last week, the nation recorded the highest weekly total of COVID-19 vaccinations — more than 6 million shots — since July 5, according to Mr. Zients, who also noted that tens of millions of Americans are now covered by vaccination requirements. As of Aug. 31, 52.4 percent of the U.S. population are fully vaccinated, while 61.8 percent have received at least one dose, reports the CDC.  


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