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CDC and WHO guidelines on Delta variant—Which recommendations Northeast Ohioans should follow

Virus Outbreak Ohio
Posted at 7:05 AM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 10:40:55-04

CLEVELAND — Since the rise of the delta variant, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have put out different guidelines about masking and social distancing. News 5 has reached out to an expert at the Cleveland Clinic to find out which recommendations Northeast Ohioans should follow.

The CDC is not changing its guidance and still maintaining the stance that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask in most settings even as the delta variant spread.

“So the United States is relatively doing a lot better in terms of vaccination and cases compared to other parts of the world,” said Joseph Khabbaza, of the Cleveland Clinic.

But adding to the confusion, the World Health Organization is asking everyone, vaccinated or not, to keep wearing a mask and stay socially distanced.

“An organization that's looking at the entire world is going to incorporate precautions that involve really everything, every country together and their status,” Khabbaza said.

Almost 50% of Ohioans have started the vaccination process, which is must higher than most countries globally, he said.

“If you are vaccinated, delta or not, you are in very good shape from being able to prevent getting COVID at all, but certainly from being hospitalized or having severe illness whatsoever,” said Khabbaza.

If you’re in Northeast Ohio and vaccinated, you’re less likely to be infected or infect others and it’s safe to follow the CDC’s recommendations.

“If you are vaccinated and asymptomatic, it is extremely unlikely for you to transmit any kind of virus. You're unlikely to have enough of a viral load to be contagious,” Khabbaza said.

If you are traveling out of the country or spending time with a group that’s largely unvaccinated, it’s best to follow the World Health Organization’s guidelines and wear a mask.

“I think every layer of precaution is going to really minimize the chance that an unvaccinated person contracts the illness.”

RELATED: Highly contagious COVID-19 delta variant on trajectory to become dominant strain in Ohio

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