CDC updates COVID-19 risk guidance chart, local officials encourage continued use of masks

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated the guidance of the usage of masks, easing mask restrictions for those who are vaccinated. 

Although Cameron County health authority Dr. James Castillo considers it progress, he said it is important for people to remember that the virus is not fully gone. 

Dr. Castillo encouraged those who have been vaccinated to still be mindful of others by wearing a mask because one does not know the underlying health conditions that a person might have.

If that person is at high severe risk of COVID you may not know that, you may not know that they’re on chemotherapy, you may not know that they’re taking suppressive medication so if it’s a stranger and you don’t know them then yeah that’s just one reason to be courteous,” he said.

Dr. Castillo said the mask ease is due to the increase in vaccinated people and the decrease in COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Castillo said the modified chart is a way to help the community understand what they can do at their own risk.

“It’s all about deciding what the risk level you are comfortable with and that you’re willing to live with and how to modify your risk and what is the best way to protect yourself, which is obviously taking the vaccine,” he said.

According to Dr. Castillo, the chart visually explains the comparison in activities towards vaccinated people and non-vaccinated people. In addition, the example that the vaccine is a way to go back to doing activities that one would feel comfortable doing before the pandemic.

Although masks have been eased, Dr. Castillo said they are still necessary because there are people who have not been vaccinated.

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