Health Department To Local Leaders: 'Masks May Be Needed to Keep Delta Variant at Bay'

Health Department To Local Leaders: ‘Masks May Be Needed to Keep Delta Variant at Bay’

Kane County Assistant Director of Community Health Michael Isaacson sent an email to municipal leaders and chambers of commerce officials Tuesday (July 27, 2021), saying Kane County is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and test positivity over the past month and that “it may become a recommendation for our residents to mask up again, even if they are vaccinated, to keep the Delta variant at bay.”

Kane County Assistant Director of Community Health Michael Isaacson

Isaacson said new guidelines released Tuesday (July 27, 2021) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend fully vaccinated persons wear a mask while in public indoor settings, if they are in an area with substantial or high transmission.

As of Tuesday, Isaacson said Kane County was classified as having moderate transmission, with a seven-day rate of 32.31 cases per 100,000 residents. Masks are recommended to be worn indoors when the rate exceeds 50 cases per 100,000 residents

Transmission categories are defined as:

  • Under 10 cases per 100,000 residents is low transmission.
  • 10+ cases per 100,000 residents is moderate transmission.
  • 50+ cases per 100,000  residents is substantial transmission. (Masks recommended indoors.)
  • 100+ cases per 100,000 residents is high transmission. (Masks recommended indoors.)

“Please continue to promote to your constituents the benefits of  being vaccinated,” Isaacson said.

Isaacson said that more than 72.2% of Kane County residents age 12 and older have had at least one shot of COVID vaccine, and almost 55% are fully vaccinated.

Kane County remains in the yellow, or moderate, range of COVID-19 infection as of Wednesday, July 28. (CREDIT: CDC website)

“This is quite good and many efforts are still under way to continue vaccinating people, but with the increased COVID activity across the country and here in Illinois, we still have too many people who are unvaccinated that may especially susceptible to infection, illness and death,” he said. “The Delta variant has quickly become the dominant form of virus circulating in the U.S. and spreads much easier putting more people at risk.”

The complete guidelines for vaccinated individuals can be found at: Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People | CDC

A summary of the changes made Tuesday include:

  • Updated information for fully vaccinated people given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant currently circulating in the United States.
  • Added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.
  • Added information that fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, or if they have someone in their household who is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease or not fully vaccinated.
  • Added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people who have a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to be tested 3-5 days after exposure, and to wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
  • CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status

Kane County Health Department will continue to monitor and report on COVID activity in our community and work with local organizations to continue administering vaccine. Kane County is averaging a bit under 1,000 shots per day.