SALT LAKE CITY — One Utah health leader has come out in support of the new mask recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC announced Tuesday that it is now advising vaccinated people to wear masks while indoors in areas of the country that are seeing surges in COVID-19 cases.
Dr. Angela Dunn, Executive Director of the Salt Lake County Health Department, applauded that guidance.
“CDC’s announcement today echoes concerns I shared last week that this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and that widespread vaccination remains our most effective defense — including against the delta variant," said Dunn in a statement.
Utah is among the many states where COVID cases are spiking this summer, with 613 new cases and seven deaths reported on Tuesday alone. Nearly every death related to the coronavirus in Utah in 2021 has been an unvaccinated person.
Dunn, who previously served as the state's epidemiologist, says the CDCs new recommendation will help protect those who can't be vaccinated because of certain medical conditions, as well as children who are too young to receive the vaccine.
In May, the Utah legislature banned a mask mandate from being imposed on the state's schools in the fall.
"We know the vaccine works — particularly in preventing hospitalization and death — but not all of our populations have reached a high enough level of vaccination to have herd immunity and provide protection throughout the community." Dunn said.
Dunn added that she will be practicing what she preaches until the threat of COVID is gone.
"Even though I am fully vaccinated, because Salt Lake County is currently experiencing substantial transmission, I will be following the CDC’s recommendation to mask when indoors in public settings because I don’t know who around me is unvaccinated.”