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The reason why Los Angeles County wants you to wear masks (even if you’re fully vaccinated)

Should you wear your face mask again? Here’s why Los Angeles is asking its residents to wear face masks

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People wear masks while exercising at a gym in Los Angeles.

In this Friday, June 26, 2020, file photo, people wear masks while exercising at a gym in Los Angeles.

Jae C. Hong, Associated Press

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization urged fully vaccinated people to keep wearing face masks inside and practicing social distancing in public spaces to help stop the delta variant of the novel coronavirus.

But if you’re vaccinated — why would you need to do this?

Why do vaccinated people need to wear face masks to fight delta?

Like the WHO, Los Angeles County has asked for people to wear face masks in public spaces — no matter the vaccination status.

Barbara Ferrer, the county’s public health director, said in a statement that fully vaccinated people are protected against the novel coronavirus.

  • “Fully vaccinated people are well protected against serious illness and disease caused by variants of concern including the delta variant,” she said, per The Washington Post.

But Muntu Davis, the Los Angeles County health officer, told The Washington Post that face masks can stop people from spreading the virus to others.

  • “We want to make sure we understand that people who are fully vaccinated aren’t getting infected in large portions or small portions in a way that allows them to unknowingly transmit to others,” she said.

When will this change?

The LA County health department said in a statement that health officials want to learn more about the delta variant before changing that opinion, according to KTLA.

  • “Until we better understand how and to who the delta variant is spreading, everyone should focus on maximum protection with minimum interruption to routine as all businesses operate without other restrictions, like physical distancing and capacity limits,” the department said.

Is this happening anywhere else?

There are a number of questions about whether people should start wearing masks again. According to NPR, countries like Australia, Israel and many in Europe have added lockdown and restrictions to deal with COVID-19 outbreaks, specifically outbreaks of the delta variant.