CDC: Don’t worry about social distancing but don’t get rid of the mask
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - COVID-19 is neither gone nor forgotten in the Louisville Metro but health experts view newly-relaxed CDC recommendations are a sign that progress is being made.
“I think that acknowledges the extent of the disease in our population and the number of people that have been exposed to it,” UofL Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jason Smith said. “The majority of the people in the United States have either had a vaccine or been exposed to this disease and have some type of natural immunity. And that’s why we’re seeing a very different disease these days than we saw in the early parts of this pandemic.”
The CDC no longer recommends social distancing six feet or going into quarantine if you are exposed but not infected.
The new recommendations come at a time when social distancing and public mask wearing seem to already be a thing of the past.
But masks worn indoors is still a recommended tool in preventing the spread of COVID.
In areas of high COVID numbers, the CDC still recommends wearing a high-quality mask indoors. It is advice mirrored in current Kentucky state policy.
Most Kentucky counties are in the red for high community levels of COVID.
”So we still want to rely on proper mask use to lower the risk of disease transmission and lower the risk of getting infected if you were particularly vulnerable,” Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said. “So please, we continue to recommend use of high-quality masks particularly in the red counties, which in Kentucky is about 2/3 of all our 120 counties.”
The most recent Louisville Metro count of new COVID cases, while declining, still tops 2,700 and some CDC recommended precautions have not changed.
People with symptoms and their close contacts should still get tested. People who test positive should still isolate for at least five days and wear a mask around others for 10.
Health experts say vaccines and boosters are still the most important defense against COVID.
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