On July 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated its COVID-19 guidance
in light of the rapidly spreading COVID-19 Delta variant. The Delta variant is causing breakthrough infections in some fully vaccinated individuals, appears to be more transmissible than other variants and, most importantly, appears to be transmissible even from individuals who are fully vaccinated.
In light of this, the CDC issued the following guidance, which the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) adopted:
- Recommend all individuals, including fully vaccinated individuals, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.
- This is a change from previous guidance that fully vaccinated individuals need not wear masks indoors except in certain limited scenarios.
- Substantial transmission is defined by the CDC as areas with 50 to 99 cases per 100,000 people in a seven-day period, and high transmission is classified as places with more than 100 cases per 100,000 people in a seven-day period. For a map of areas (including Illinois counties) with substantial or high transmission, please see the CDC’s website.
- PDRMA Recommendation: PDRMA recommends complying with CDC and IDPH guidance. For members not currently in a substantial or high transmission area, we recommend preparing for the possibility of indoor masking again.
- Recommend all individuals, including fully vaccinated individuals, wear a mask in indoor school settings.
The CDC refers to this as “universal indoor masking” for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools.
- This is a change from previous guidance that fully vaccinated individuals need not wear masks except in certain limited scenarios.
- PDRMA Recommendation: While we recognize our members are not schools, we recommend universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to programs held at schools attended by school-aged children (particularly children under the age of 12).
- Fully vaccinated people who have a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be tested three-to-five days after exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
- This is a change from previous guidance that fully vaccinated individuals who remain symptom-free can simply self-monitor for a 14-day period.
- PDRMA Recommendation: PDRMA recommends continuing to take appropriate steps when an individual is exposed to a known or suspected case of COVID-19.
- For individuals who are not fully vaccinated, the recommendation continues to be to quarantine for 14 days, though members can continue to use a more reduced quarantine time of 10 days without testing or seven days after receiving a negative test result (where the test must occur on day five or later).
- For individuals who are fully vaccinated and who remain without COVID-19 symptoms, members have a choice as to whether to require them to quarantine for 14 days out of an abundance of caution or to follow the above-listed requirements (i.e., requiring testing three-to-five days after exposure and requiring masking indoors for 14 days or until the individual receives a negative test result.
- For individuals who become COVID-19 symptomatic, regardless of vaccination status, follow CDC’s and IDPH’s current isolation guidance.
We will issue a more comprehensive update of our COVID-19 Phase 4 Reopening FAQs as soon as IDPH updates its recommendations to reflect the latest CDC guidance.