PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The World Health Organization is urging fully vaccinated people to continue wearing masks as the Delta variant surges.
This advice comes more than a month after the CDC gave the green light to ditch masks if you are vaccinated. On top of that, on Monday, Pennsylvania lifted its mask mandate.READ MORE: U.S. Senate Introduces Text Of Bipartisan Infrastructure Package
Most people KDKA’s Amy Wadas spoke with say they plan on keeping the mask on hand for a while.
“I’ll be wearing this until this is completely over,” said Glassport resident Carl Christer.
Dr. Graham Snyder, the medical director of Infection Prevention and Hospital Epidemiology at UPMC, said people with a compromised immune system should be wearing a mask even if they are vaccinated.
“You may have others around you who you want to protect. People in your household, loved ones in your community who may be vulnerable and may be vulnerable even if they’re vaccinated,” said Dr. Snyder.READ MORE: 'It's Been An Absolute Nightmare:' PennDOT To Reopen Northbound Ramp To Highland Park Bridge
As far as the World Health Organization urging fully vaccinated people to continue masking up and social distancing, especially as the Delta variant spreads, Dr. Snyder said he understands its perspective.
“What the WHO is essentially saying is, we can’t rely on the vaccine as a layer of protection for us as a globe. We have to still rely on a second layer of protection: masks and distancing until vaccination picks up,” said Dr. Snyder.
Snyder said it’s only a matter of time before we see the Delta variant in our area. The Pennsylvania Department of Health said the variant is starting to circulate around the state.
“I”m afraid of anything coming into the U.S. because you never know what it will be or who it will attack. We all have to be prepared,” said Christer.
As of last week, the Allegheny County Health Department said there were no cases of the Delta variant in the county.MORE NEWS: Woman In Critical Condition Following Shooting In Homewood
KDKA’s Amy Wadas reached out to the department on Tuesday to see if that’s changed and was told Health Director Dr. Debra Bogen will address that during Wednesday’s COVID-19 briefing.