Health officials are actively considering changing mask guidelines and recommending that those vaccinated in the U.S. wear face coverings as caseloads in some parts of the country continue to surge, the nation’s top infectious disease expert said on Sunday.
“We’re going in the wrong direction,” Dr. Anthony Fauci about the increased transmission of the coronavirus.
He said health officials are also discussing booster shots for people who have been vaccinated but have compromised immune systems.
Some parts of the country that are experiencing surging caseloads, like Los Angeles County, are reinstituting mask mandates for indoor public places, regardless of vaccination status.
Earlier in the week, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said current mask guidelines would remain in place, ABC News reported.
“Fully vaccinated people are protected from severe illness, and we’ve always said that communities and individuals to make the decisions that are right for them based on what’s going on in their local areas,” she said.
About 163 million people, about 49% of the eligible population, are fully vaccinated, according to health tracking information.
“This is an issue predominantly among the unvaccinated, which is the reason why we’re out there, practically pleading with the unvaccinated people to go out and get vaccinated,” Fauci said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.