CDC Director advises Americans to wear masks again

She suggested that while there are no "new or unfamiliar" viruses going around, everyone should still consider masking up.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
On Wednesday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Mandy Cohen announced the agency's latest set of guidelines as Americans prepare themselves for the winter months and the increase in respiratory illnesses that this time of year brings.

She suggested that while there are no "new or unfamiliar" viruses going around, everyone should still consider masking up when necessary, staying up to date with their vaccinations, and washing their hands more frequently.

"In the United States [respiratory syncytial virus] is elevated, flu is continuing to increase in most of the country, and Covid is starting to increase again after being stable for the past few weeks," Cohen began, noting that there has been an uptick in pneumonia cases as well, though nothing out of the ordinary.

She stated that despite the jump in cases of respiratory illness, there has not been any evidence that points to the risk of unusual viruses making their way through the population.

"To protect yourself and your family this holiday season, take the steps that we do every year," Cohen said, saying that everyone should consider staying up to date with their vaccinations for Covid and flu, adding that anyone over 60 should consider getting inoculated against RSV as well.

She urged Americans to "use additional layers of protection like avoiding people who are sick, washing your hands, improving ventilation, and wearing a mask."

Cohen ended by noting that the CDC will continue to monitor the myriad of respiratory illnesses, and told everyone to "stay safe."

As the American Hospital Association reports, the CDC updated its masking guidelines for healthcare facilities in May, recommending that universal mandates be implemented on a case-by-case basis. 

An updated set of guidelines is expected to be released soon, with reports suggesting there could be major changes to the standards for infection control, which were last revised in 2007.
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