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Mills Directs Maine CDC To Review Updated Federal Guidance On Masks

Virus Outbreak Maine
Robert F. Bukaty
A visitor at Fort Williams Park wears a mask to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus while walking on near Portland Head Light, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The state saw a surge in cases of the virus last week. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Governor Janet Mills is directing the Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine CDC to review updated federal guidance on masks. Tuesday afternoon, the United States CDC announced it now recommends vaccinated individuals in areas with substantial and high COVID-19 transmission rates wear masks indoors.

Most of Maine has moderate transmission, according to U.S. CDC COVID-19 Tracker. But two counties, York and Piscataquis, have substantial transmission. According to the new federal guidance, vaccinated individuals in those counties should wear masks indoors.

CDC map transmission.JPG
Level of community transmission by county from Monday July 19 2021 to Sunday Jul 25 2021.

But whether the state will make that recommendation is unclear as of Tuesday evening. Gov. Janet Mills issued a statement that her administration would review the federal guidance and announce any changes on Wednesday.

The U.S. CDC updated its mask guidance due to new evidence that in rare breakthrough cases, vaccinated individuals infected with the Delta variant may be contagious and spread the virus to others

The U.S. CDC also recommends universal masking in schools, regardless of vaccination status.