The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) along with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department (TLCHD) recommend that people, both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated, continue to wear a mask in some settings or situations. Other federal, state, or local laws may require masks, and businesses may set their own requirements.
In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings. However, in areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
Unfortunately, new data suggests that the Delta variant is different than previous variants of the virus and spreads about twice as easily from one person to another. With the Delta variant, fully vaccinated people may be able to pass the disease to others. Previous variants had little to no affect on crowded outdoor venues, however, several states including Washington and Colorado, are currently investigating COVID related outbreaks associated with outdoor events.
As summer starts to wrap up, several large upcoming outdoor events are expected within our community. Lucas County is currently at 194 new cases per 100,000 persons, almost twice the threshold level of high community transmission (100/100,000) and the Delta Variant is not behaving as past variants. TLCHD is recommending the use of face coverings for both indoor settings and at crowded outdoor settings. Crowded outdoor settings essentially are those where 6 foot physical distancing cannot be maintained.
Given what we know about the Delta variant, the many events individuals want to and will participate in, overall vaccine effectiveness, and current vaccine coverage, layered prevention strategies, such as wearing masks, are all needed to reduce transmission of this variant.
Viruses constantly change and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Vaccines continue to reduce a person’s risk of contracting the virus that causes COVID-19. Fully vaccinated people are less likely to get infected, and if a vaccinated person does get infected, the illness is more likely be mild. The vaccine also greatly reduces the chance of hospitalization and death.
The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department recommends everyone, both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated, wear a mask in the following situations:
- In public, indoor settings in areas with substantial or high transmission.
- Crowded outdoor venues when there is high transmission and physical distancing is not maintained.
- Where there is a high risk of COVID-19 spread or complications from COVID-19 infection, such as in schools, health care settings, and correctional facilities.
- If you are immunocompromised or at an increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19.
- If you live or frequently interact with someone who is immunocompromised, not fully vaccinated, or at an increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19.
If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are not fully vaccinated, TLCHD recommends a 14 quarantine, from the date of last exposure, but you are required to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days.
If you are fully vaccinated, you do not have to quarantine after exposure, however, consider wearing a mask around others for 14 days while monitoring for symptoms.
Regardless of vaccination status, if you develop symptoms after a COVID-19 exposure, you must to isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms.
For the latest information on Lucas County COVID-19 data, please visit: https://lucascountyhealth.com/coronavirusupdates/