Amarillo health leaders discuss ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and CDC’s updated mask guidelines

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Locally, across the state, and nationally, COVID-19 numbers are trending upward as the delta variant continues to dominate the United States.

As a result, on Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its’ guidance on wearing masks. On their website, the CDC now states and recommends, “To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.” This new revision is aimed at both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

On Wednesday, Amarillo health and city leaders hosted the first COVID-19 update since May. Amarillo Public Health Director, Casie Stoughton, addressed these recent changes by the CDC.

“Due to that delta variant, it’s now recommended that vaccinated persons in areas of high transmission wear a mask indoors,” said Stoughton.

Additionally, Stoughton reminded everyone to remember that change has been the name of the game throughout this pandemic. She continued, “Again, due to that delta variant, it’s important to wear your mask indoors for all people, vaccinated and unvaccinated.”

Despite the increasing numbers and cases within the state, Governor Greg Abbott has not made any mention of future mandates, regarding the issue.

On Wednesday, July 21st, while in Houston, Governor Abbott stated, “We’re past the time of government mandates. We’re into the time for personal responsibility.”

Following the CDC’s recent revisions to the masking guidelines, Governor Abbott took to twitter, where he stated:

“The time for government mask mandates is over—now is the time for personal responsibility.

In May, I signed an executive order prohibiting mask mandates by gov’t entities.

Every Texan has the right to choose whether they will wear a mask or have their children wear masks.”

Locally, Amarillo City Manager, Jared Miller, shared during Wednesday’s virtual conference that there have been discussions on whether or not to reach out to the Governor’s office. However, Miller explained that the City of Amarillo has no plans or intentions to do so at this point in time.

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