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Experts stress masking at large events as the Delta variant continues to spread

Face coverings have returned to the forefront as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new recommendations Tuesday.

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — Face coverings have returned to the forefront as the Center for Disease Control announced new recommendations Tuesday. 

The CDC recommending masking indoors for both unvaccinated and unvaccinated people.

With many events set to occur outdoors this summer season, health experts say it's still a risk and people should continue wearing masks whenever they are around large amounts of people.

Dr. Mohammad Ali, infectious disease consultant for Penn State Health says if someone contracts the delta variant, the contaminants of the infection in the body are high. 

"It will be high enough in some circumstances that you might be able to transmit it to somebody who perhaps does not have immunity against the virus," said Dr. Ali.

From July 23rd up until August 1st, community members across the region are welcomed to the York State Fair.

Fair coordinators have said people will not be required to wear masks or show proof of vaccination.

With new guidelines recommended by the CDC, they say they will continue with current safety measures and if guidelines change, they will abide.

“If the Department of Health releases new guidelines, we will do our best to comply with them," said Montgomery Stambaugh, marketing and communications director of the York State Fair.

Still, medical professionals advise vaccination and masking because the spread of the various variants can be difficult to track.

"These bigger events make it harder to do any contact tracing, or really tracking where COVID is spreading or how it is spreading," said Dr. Michael Seim, the chief quality officer of Wellspan Health, "there are people coming all over the state of Pennsylvania and even Maryland and other areas that increase the number of people that could be exposed to the Delta variant."

Dr. Ali adds travel to certain events can have an impact as well.

"If you're taking an airplane or if you're taking a bus and are going to be in a bus station, you will be in an indoor place where your risk would be higher of being exposed to it," he said.

Dr. Seim adds the threat of the spread is greater in young people.

"Younger people tend to have a higher opportunity to be an asymptomatic COVID patient and they can spread it to your family and household, he said, "it's just really important that we practice safer behaviors when we do start to do fun things again."

Stambaugh says vaccines are also available to those who attend the fair.

"We do have a vaccination site in Memorial Hall, that's offering free vaccines from the start of yesterday and will go till tomorrow," she said, "they are doing the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine so, if anyone would like to get one it is free with your admission."

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