COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Columbia/Boone County Public Health & Human Services says right now there are no plans to reinstate a health order despite new masking guidelines from the CDC.
In a group call on Tuesday, the CDC said vaccinated people in some parts of the country should again start wearing masks indoors in public areas.
Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director said the guidance on mask-wearing changed because of a massive up-tick in COVID-19 cases.
That guidance applies specifically to areas with "high" or "substantial" COVID-19 transmission - which accounts for nearly two-thirds of the country, including right here in mid-Missouri.
Federal health officials cited new information about the delta variants' ability to spread among fully vaccinated individuals.
Columbia/Boone County Public Health & Human Services issued a public health advisory on July 7, which made similar recommendations to the CDC's.
"Really this is more of an alignment with what we've said and also the CDC and the World Health Organization, aligning as well," said Sara Humm, a Columbia/Boone County Public Health & Human Services spokesperson. "For us, this doesn't change anything, because we had already recommended that folks wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status."
The July 7 public health advisory also asks people to get vaccinated and if you're sick, get tested and stay home.
The growing number of positive COVID-19 cases, along with the increased spread of the delta variant, sparked guidance from both organizations. But health leaders say this doesn't mean you should expect a health order or mandate anytime soon.
"As far as the health department, there are no plans at this point to reinstate any sort of a health order, but certainly strongly recommending those risk mitigation efforts like vaccinations masking social distancing things like that," Humm said.
Within the last week, Boone and Cole Counties together have seen nearly 680 new cases, but the growth is not nearly as fast as the Fall when the counties were seeing over 2,000 combined cases in a week.
The Cole County Health Department said it had no comment on the new guidance but said it would be meeting with Cole County education leaders tomorrow to discuss how this will affect the districts.
Boone County Commissioner Dan Atwill says the commission is expected to meet with county leaders to discuss the new guidance tomorrow as well.