Community transmission “substantial” in Alpena, leading to mask recommendation

Based on new guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), everyone in the Alpena area should be wearing masks in public indoor spaces, even if they have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

The CDC issued new guidance on masking Tuesday, primarily due to the impact of the Delta variant of COVID-19, which is believed to be more contagious and the most transmissible variant yet.

The CDC recommends that all person who live in areas of “high” or “substantial” transmission should wear masks in public indoor spaces.  Alpena County is currently one of only nine counties in Michigan with a level of substantial transmission.  The next closest county is Kalkaska.  Only one county, Branch, has a high level of transmission.

All of the remaining counties in northeast Michigan range from low to moderate transmission.  Residents can follow community transmission levels via the CDC Data Tracker on the agency’s website.

The CDC is also recommending that regardless of transmission levels or vaccination status, all persons in K-12 schools should mask up, including students, teachers, staff and visitors.

District Health Department No. 4 continues to encourage residents to get vaccinated.  To schedule a vaccine appointment call 800-221-0294.

MORE INFORMATION FROM DHD#4:

Research and case trends suggest the Delta variant differs from past versions of the virus – it is much more contagious. Statewide, while some vaccinated individuals have contracted Delta, known as a breakthrough case, overall, vaccinated individuals represent a very small fraction of the transmission occurring nationally. Additionally, virtually all new hospitalizations and deaths are among unvaccinated individuals. Evidence continues to show COVID-19 vaccination is safe, effective & cost free. For more information on CDC fully vaccinated guidance visit, https://bit.ly/3rD1Edv