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Should you prepare to put your mask back on?

COVID-19 cases are climbing around the world. Is this a glimpse at the future?

A customer wears a mask in Target.
A customer wears a mask as she waits to get a receipt at a register in Target store in Vernon Hills, Ill., Sunday, May 23, 2021.
Associated Press

A slew of new coronavirus outbreaks across the world have caused countries — some that have high vaccination rates and others that have been relatively safe from COVID-19 — to go into lockdown and reimpose mask mandates.

Where are the COVID-19 outbreaks?

NPR reports that countries such as Australia, Israel and many in Europe have added new lockdown and restrictions as outbreaks continue to spread in those regions.

For example, Australia — which has been relatively safe from the coronavirus, has added new restrictions for nonessential travel to keep the outbreak from spreading.

  • “This is in order for us to ensure that this doesn’t take a hold for weeks and weeks, and we believe this is a proportionate response to the risk,” said Gladys Berejiklian, the premier of New South Wales state in Australia, according to NPR.

Israel — which “has been one of the most successful countries in the world in tackling the pandemic,” according to BBC News — also introduced a new requirement for face masks indoors as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

  • “Most of the cases have been linked to the delta variant from abroad,” BBC News reports.

What about the United States?

So far, the United States has been “reopening despite warnings from health officials,” according to NPR.

Indeed, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser on the novel coronavirus, recently warned on the “Today” show that the delta variant might be one to worry about.

  • “In several weeks or a month or so, it is going to be quite dominant,” he said.
  • He added, “It’s the unvaccinated people that we’re concerned about. ... If they are unvaccinated, they are at risk.”

Experts have also expressed slight concerns about the delta plus evolution of the coronavirus, which has been spotted in more than 12 countries, as the Deseret News reported.

  • “We don’t have much reason to believe this (the delta plus variant) is any more dangerous than the original delta,” said Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center virologist Jeremy Kamil, CBS News reported.
  • “I would keep calm. I don’t think India or anyone else in the world has released or accumulated enough data to distinguish the risk from the so-called delta plus as being more dangerous or concerning than the original delta variant,” Kamil said.