HARRISBURG, Pa. — The CDC has reported a sudden twist for everyone -- regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.
While analyzing a recent COVID-19 outbreak in Providence, Mass., in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health, the CDC found that 74% of people who were fully vaccinated had contracted the delta variant, the agency said.
Through this finding, the CDC has reported both unvaccinated and vaccinated people can transmit the COVID-19 virus and its strain.
Last Friday, the agency put out this statement confirming its mask recommendation:
"This finding is concerning and was a pivotal discovery leading to CDC’s updated mask recommendation," the CDC said. "The masking recommendation was updated to ensure the vaccinated public would not unknowingly transmit the virus to others, including their unvaccinated or immunocompromised loved ones."
Dr. Rutul Dalal, medical director of infectious diseases at UPMC North Central Pennsylvania says masking adds another layer of protection, in addition to getting vaccinated.
"You're protecting yourself from individuals who probably got vaccinated and have been spreading the virus unknowingly, or you're protecting yourself from other unvaccinated individuals," Dalal said.
In addition, the length of time accumulating for those who are unvaccinated will increase the level of variants to be replicated and cause further infection, according to Dalal.
"The longer unvaccinated individuals are in our communities, the chances of these variants coming up and getting more resistant as well as more easily transmissible is going to go up," Dalal said.
He believes this is because this type of variant is stronger than earlier strains.
"The delta variant is 50 times more potent than the Alpha variant which was found in Great Britain, which in turn was 60 percent more easily transmissible than the regular COVID virus," Dalal said.
Douglas Doty of Franklin County contracted the COVID-19 virus in April of 2020. After his stay in the hospital, he says, the fight wasn't over.
"I had issues with breathing at night, not being able to get enough rest, waking up a lot and just overall feeling lethargic," said Doty.
Now, Doty said he is able to get back to the thing he loves doing the most.
"I'm back to having energy, I'm back to going out and doing things that I want to do," he said.
As the delta variant continues to add a surge in COVID-19 cases, Doty stresses the need to be vaccinated.
"Having the symptoms of the vaccination for four days, and getting over it, is way better than ending up in a hospital and being talking into being intubated," he said.
Doty hopes everyone can see why it is necessary to practice each safety measure possible.
"That re-infection is always there in the back of my mind, and I won't give that opportunity to COVID to do it to me again, so if I have to be inconvenienced by wearing a mask then that's what I will do," he said.