Last month, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that fully vaccinated people should wear masks indoors too in some areas. This move came as the covid-19 cases of Delta variant rise across the country. However, health experts said that vaccinated people are safer and protected against viruses, especially severe infections. Nevertheless, many Americans are still confused in terms of the safe side of wearing masks in public and attending small and big gatherings.
As per the vice dean for education in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Elizabeth Stuart, ‘it is not that you can party or should not party, but it is about the planning’s to think through how to make it safe.’ So if you are in public gatherings like a friend’s wedding, what you need to understand is to how to gather in the safest way.
As Delta Variant Is On The Rise, Are Crowd Safe? The Expert Explains The Risk For Covid19 At Gatherings
Are events like Lollapalooza safe?
As covid cases are continuously increasing in the US, last weekend people gathered unmasked as hundreds and thousands for the outdoor music festival Lollapalooza. It was a four-day event where about 3,85,000 people gathered despite health experts warning the fast spread of the contagious delta variant, even for fully vaccinated, and call for masking indoors.
The medical professor, Tina Tan, called this event a recipe for disaster and raised concerns over how well organizers enforced masks and social distancing. She also criticized the company for organizing such events and suggesting that it would be safe as it was outdoors. On this, she said, ‘yes it was an outdoor event but this does not mean that you can pack about 100,000 people in a small enclosed space and expect no one will transmit.’
Large outdoor gatherings are safer in comparison to large indoor gatherings; experts warn that covid can transmit outside as well, especially in crowded places. Elizabeth Stuart said that ‘the main challenge is that any person will not know that another one of vaccinated or not.
As we see that Delta variant is so contagious and is more transmissible than previous variants. Thus if a small portion of people is covid positive there is a more chance of spreading of infection.’
Should vaccinated people wear masks?
According to the CDC declaration last month, fully vaccinated people should wear a mask in public and in indoor settings too if there is a high risk of transmission rates. Also, fully vaccinated ones might also wear masks indoors if their household is unvaccinated or immunocompromised. CDC also suggests that vaccinated people don’t need masks outdoors, but they should wear proper masks in a crowded area like a music festival.
Avoid gatherings as you are vaccinated but not your children
According to the director of Mayo clinic’s Research group, Dr. Gregory Poland, it is ok to attend a small gathering with other vaccinated people along with your children, those who are too young to get a job. Again, though, he warned that parents with unvaccinated children should avoid attending gatherings. He was also concerned about the risk of upsurges if children join school or daycare and gathered with other unvaccinated kids.
What unvaccinated and immunocompromised people should know?
According to health officials, if you are above 12 years of age, you should get vaccinated. Also, CDC said that unvaccinated people should continue masking until they get their jab. They should also follow other precautions like maintaining social distancing and avoiding gatherings like music events. Also, immunocompromised people should avoid gatherings and wear a mask in public and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
People hosting large gatherings that will bring a large group of people together should consider risk factors like traveling and guests’ lodging. For example, according to health officials, the host should avoid holding the event in crowded and poorly ventilated spaces and assure that invited guests should be fully vaccinated.