COVID-19: Mask, vaccine mandates rise along with delta variant

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 8:27 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 16, 2021 at 10:40 AM CDT
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(CNN) - The pandemic is nowhere near finished. That’s the latest from the World Health Organization, as the delta variant continues to spread.

In the U.S., it’s been reported in every state.

Some mask mandates are back in effect because of it, and vaccine mandates are becoming more common, too.

“I’m very worried,” said Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.

“We haven’t seen this amount of cases for months,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky.

“We are literally sitting on the edge of what could be a major crisis,” said Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.

New cases are on the rise in all but one state.

It’s prompted Los Angeles County to reinstate its indoor mask mandate. Experts say it makes sense, especially for the unvaccinated.

“It’s not clear how much transmission still happens with the vaccine with the delta variant. And therefore, I personally, when I go to the grocery store or the post office, I wear a mask. I don’t dine inside because of that,” said Dr. Zeke Emanuel, an oncologist.

Nationwide, the vaccination rate has slowed.

A little more than 56 percent of people 12 and older are fully vaccinated, and it could be months before there’s a vaccine for kids younger than 12, September at the earliest.

Kids younger than 5 will likely have to wait until the end of the year.

But for those who can roll up their sleeves, there are cities, companies and nearly 600 colleges and universities requiring vaccinations.

“There should be more mandates. There really should be. I think when you do see the official approval, you’ll see a lot more mandates,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

In the meantime, the White House is battling vaccine misinformation and myths.

“We’re talking about a life-and-death situation,” Fauci said.

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