CDC guidelines shift as COVID-19 cases increase across the country

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COVID-19 cases have risen for several weeks now across the country. With the development of the highly transmissible “delta” variant and more changes to national CDC guidelines for protection, the landscape of the virus is rapidly changing. Will Humble, Executive Director of the Arizona Public Health Association, joined us to discuss.

Humble said that initially with the change he was hesitant due to the CDC not immediately publishing the data that they were acting on. As the data came out on Friday, though, he got behind it. Regarding everybody wearing masks in schools, though, Humble said that he never once hesitated.

One specific study out of West Virginia found a high amount of people testing positive for the virus despite being vaccinated. “What they found was that a breakthrough case had similar ‘viral loads’ than unvaccinated persons. It established that vaccinated persons could actually transmit the virus if they have a breakthrough case to unvaccinated people,” Humble said.

He said that the study isn’t considerably concerning, simply because the vaccine still protects against the Delta variant. The opposite occurring would be cause for significant concern.

“It makes sense now, but I wish that they had released the data before they made the policy change,” Humble said. The bottom line though is that the study seems to emphasize the importance of the vaccine. He said that if you or your kids are eligible for the vaccine, get vaccinated.

Humble also said that starting this semester, the county will have rapid tests readily available for schools to order and use. “The nice thing about that rapid test is that the school can actually send it home with the kid in their backpack to avoid the parental consent part of it,” Humble added.

Regarding booster shots, Humble said that he’s uncertain whether they will be commonplace. “I wouldn’t be in favor of booster shots unless I saw a new variant came out that really escaped the current vaccines,” Humble said.

Will Humble, Executive Director, Arizona Public Health Association

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