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You might need to start wearing a mask again even if you’re vaccinated

July 26, 2021
3 min read
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You might need to start wearing a mask again even if you’re vaccinated
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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is considering revising its mask guidance even for people who are vaccinated, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, July 25.

Fauci cautioned that the country was headed in the “wrong direction” as the delta coronavirus variant spreads and vaccination rates fall.

“If you look at the inflection of the curve of new cases [among the unvaccinated] ... and since we have 50% of the country [that's] not fully vaccinated, that’s a problem,” Fauci said. Fauci said the mask guidance was “under active consideration.”

TPG reached out to the CDC and the White House but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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Fauci’s warning comes amid months of conflicting and, at times, contradictory advice from U.S. health professionals. CDC director Rochelle Walensky said last week that unvaccinated people should continue to wear a mask but that the decision for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask was an “individual choice.”

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The CDC earlier this summer said vaccinated individuals were “safe” from the delta variant and doubled down on its guidance that fully vaccinated Americans could go maskless. But the World Health Organization (WHO) in late June warned that even fully vaccinated individuals (those who received their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least two weeks prior) should still wear a mask.

There’s also been pressure to impose a federal mask mandate. Several locations across the country have also reimposed mask requirements or recommended mask-wearing.

Los Angeles County, for example, announced in mid-July that all people -- vaccinated or not -- would be required to wear a mask indoors when in public. Los Angeles County, the nation’s largest by population, has recorded more than 1.2 million cases of the coronavirus and nearly 25,000 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker. Other areas of California recommended that everyone wear masks indoors at public places but stopped short of making masks a requirement.

And across the country, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy warned that if more residents didn’t get vaccinated, he would bring back a mask mandate.

The news comes as the delta variant becomes the country’s most dominant strain, and vaccination rates have plateaued. The delta variant now accounts for 83% of cases in the U.S., a figure Walensky called a “dramatic” increase from the week of July 3.

Vaccination rates have also plateaued from their peak in mid-April when more than 4.6 million doses were administered on April 10. According to The New York Times, just 600,000 people were vaccinated on July 23.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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BEST FOR DINING AND GROCERY REWARDS
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.

    Earn 60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

There’s a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It’s been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you’re hitting the skies soon, you’ll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there’s no reason that the foodie shouldn’t add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x).
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  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months.

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories.
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits.
  • Few travel perks and protections.