Check COVID transmission levels in your county and CDC mask updates

THE CDC has updated its mask guidance due to a surge in new COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the Delta variant as the dominant variant of the virus. Here are some things to know.

News 12 Staff

Jul 27, 2021, 8:33 PM

Updated 866 days ago

Share:

Check COVID transmission levels in your county and CDC mask updates
THE CDC has updated its mask guidance due to a surge in new COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the delta variant as the dominant variant of the virus. Here are some things to know.

So what's the guidance?

The CDC is recommending that even vaccinated individuals wear masks in public indoors in parts of the U.S. where COVID is surging, specifically if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.  View the CDC map here to find out the status of your county. The agency also recommends that everyone in schools (K-12) wear masks regardless of vaccination status. 
COUNTY-BY-COUNTY BREAKDOWN (As of December 2, 2:22 p.m.) - CDC RECOMMENDS THAT VACCINATED PEOPLE WEAR A MASK INDOORS IN PUBLIC FOR SUBSTANTIAL AND HIGH AREAS
NEW YORK:
BRONX - SUBSTANTIAL
DUTCHESS - HIGH
KINGS (BROOKLYN) - HIGH
NASSAU - HIGH
NEW YORK (MANHATTAN) - HIGH
ORANGE - HIGH
PUTNAM - HIGH
QUEENS - HIGH
RICHMOND (STATEN ISLAND) - HIGH
ROCKLAND- HIGH
SUFFOLK - HIGH
SULLIVAN - HIGH
ULSTER - HIGH
WESTCHESTER - HIGH
NEW JERSEY:
ATLANTIC - HIGH
BERGEN - HIGH 
BURLINGTON - HIGH
CAMDEN - HIGH
CAPE MAY COUNTY - HIGH
CUMBERLAND - HIGH
ESSEX - HIGH
GLOUCESTER - HIGH
HUDSON - HIGH
HUNTERDON - HIGH
MERCER - HIGH
MIDDLESEX - HIGH
MONMOUTH - HIGH
MORRIS - HIGH
OCEAN - HIGH
PASSAIC - HIGH
SALEM - HIGH
SOMERSET - HIGH
SUSSEX -  HIGH
UNION - HIGH
WARREN - HIGH
CONNECTICUT
FAIRFIELD - SUBSTANTIAL
HARTFORD - HIGH
LITCHFIELD - HIGH
MIDDLESEX - HIGH
NEW HAVEN - HIGH
NEW LONDON - HIGH
TOLLAND - HIGH
WINDHAM - HIGH

So, I have to follow these guidelines in the tri-state area?

These are not mandates, they are recommendations based on data.  It is up to local governments to pass requirements for wearing masks indoors in public.  New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, broadly speaking, currently don't have those requirements for vaccinated individuals on a state level - with some exceptions.  This could change in the future. However, individuals can always wear masks in any situation if they choose. 

Why the change?

The U.S. has seen a recent surge in cases fueled by a new form of the virus called the delta variant.  This variant is much more contagious than past variants. Most of these cases are among unvaccinated people, but some vaccinated individuals have been infected.

Wait, vaccinated people can still get COVID?

Yes, these are called 'breakthrough' infections and are very rare, according to the CDC.  No vaccine is 100% effective - including the COVID-19 vaccines.  However, they are still incredibly effective at preventing infection and reducing the severity of illness if a person gets infected.  

But if I'm vaccinated can I spread the virus?

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky says vaccinated people “have the potential to spread that virus to others.”  However, the agency says vaccinated individuals represent a very small amount of total transmission. 
Parts of this article were written with Associated Press wire reports. 


More from News 12
1:44
Scattered showers expected this afternoon in New Jersey; weather trends cooler rest of the week

Scattered showers expected this afternoon in New Jersey; weather trends cooler rest of the week

3:00
NJ parent accuses Marlboro teacher of sexually assaulting, molesting her child

NJ parent accuses Marlboro teacher of sexually assaulting, molesting her child

2:36
Boonton passes ordinance on what flags are allowed to be flown outside town hall

Boonton passes ordinance on what flags are allowed to be flown outside town hall

2:34
Sorry New Jersey, you can’t have a Buc-ee’s and have your gas pumped too

Sorry New Jersey, you can’t have a Buc-ee’s and have your gas pumped too

0:21
Prosecutor: Montclair officer injured in shootout released from hospital, suspect charged

Prosecutor: Montclair officer injured in shootout released from hospital, suspect charged

2:48
Toll worker with ‘premonition’ called out of work before truck crashed into booth

Toll worker with ‘premonition’ called out of work before truck crashed into booth

Detective says daughter's boyfriend, disliked by Atlantic City mayor, recorded abuse in video call

Detective says daughter's boyfriend, disliked by Atlantic City mayor, recorded abuse in video call

0:27
Toms River police chief suspended for 2 days amid feud with town’s mayor

Toms River police chief suspended for 2 days amid feud with town’s mayor

0:53
Jersey Proud: Artwork featured in Newark Liberty’s Terminal A done by NJ artists

Jersey Proud: Artwork featured in Newark Liberty’s Terminal A done by NJ artists

Guide: Stay safe while traveling through work zones with these 6 tips

Guide: Stay safe while traveling through work zones with these 6 tips

0:44
Dozens of residents escape 4-alarm fire in Paterson that damaged 3 homes

Dozens of residents escape 4-alarm fire in Paterson that damaged 3 homes

0:21
FAA: Cessna 150 plane crashes at Sussex Airport in Wantage

FAA: Cessna 150 plane crashes at Sussex Airport in Wantage

Another record for New Jersey internet gambling revenue as in-person winnings struggle

Another record for New Jersey internet gambling revenue as in-person winnings struggle

2:02
Middletown mayor proposes reducing parking fees to offset NJ Transit fare hike

Middletown mayor proposes reducing parking fees to offset NJ Transit fare hike

1:48
Look up! Lyrid meteor shower returns to the tri-state area

Look up! Lyrid meteor shower returns to the tri-state area

2:22
Hudson County officials say noise from NYC helicopter tours is disrupting residents

Hudson County officials say noise from NYC helicopter tours is disrupting residents

0:30
4 men accused in shooting near Rutgers face judge; 2 ordered to remain jailed

4 men accused in shooting near Rutgers face judge; 2 ordered to remain jailed

2:01
Sea Girt officials expect beach entrance where toddler got trapped in sand to reopen in May

Sea Girt officials expect beach entrance where toddler got trapped in sand to reopen in May

0:32
Investigation finds deficiencies in Essex County’s $40 million COVID-19 vaccination program

Investigation finds deficiencies in Essex County’s $40 million COVID-19 vaccination program

0:08
CDC warns of counterfeit Botox in 9 states, including New Jersey and New York

CDC warns of counterfeit Botox in 9 states, including New Jersey and New York