Everyone should wear a mask indoors when in public, even if fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the North Shore Health Department.
Also, people should get vaccinated, according to health departments. In Wisconsin, 54 percent of residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine against COVID-19, as of Chronicle press time.
“All three vaccines available in the U.S. have been tested and proven to be safe and effective, including against the Delta variant. Vaccines not only work to fight off disease, but in the few cases where someone still gets sick, vaccines reduce the risk for hospitalizations and deaths, and symptoms tend to be milder in people who receive the vaccine than if they didn’t get one at all,” said Jennifer Miller, spokesperson for the state health department.
The five counties of Southeast Wisconsin have “very high” COVID-19 activity, according to the state health department. All Wisconsin counties are either very high or high.
“If you are fully vaccinated, you should still wear masks in certain settings, including public indoor settings in areas of substantial and high transmission,” according to the state health department. “You may also choose to wear a mask, regardless of the level of transmission, especially if you are around someone who is at increased risk of severe disease.”
Everyone should wear a mask indoors when in public, even if fully vaccinated, said the North Shore Health Department’s interim health officer, Kathleen Platt, RN, BSN. The North Shore Health department serves the communities of Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point, Glendale, River Hills, Shorewood and Whitefish Bay.
The Centers for Disease Control advises that fully vaccinated people should “wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.” This is to “maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others …”
Platt acknowledged that “everyone is tired of masking and taking precautions,” but said it’s important to follow the recommendation, which is in line with Centers for Disease Control recommendations. The CDC recommends mask wearing indoors when in public in areas of substantial or high community transmission.
“Masks are one of the tools in our toolbox to help stop the spread,” Miller said.
Third vaccine doses
Third doses and booster shots are not the same. Third doses are intended for only those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and these individuals are eligible now to receive a third dose. Booster shots, which are for others who already had the vaccine, are set to begin the week of Sept. 20, according to the North Shore Health Department.