Why the CDC keeps updating mask guidelines

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that fully vaccinated people could be outside without a mask.

Two weeks later on May 13, the CDC said fully vaccinated people don’t need masks at all anymore.

KVEO spoke with a health expert to find out why the CDC keeps updating their guidelines.

One of the main reasons the CDC continuously releases updated guidelines because experts keep learning more about COVID-19.

New CDC mask guidelines

“This particular disease, because we’re so focused on measuring daily numbers and weekly numbers, then we have to adjust to those numbers,” said Dr. Ivan Melendez, Hidalgo County health authority.

We already know that various COVID-19 vaccines have efficacy ratings of between 60 and 95%, but the numbers from the CDC are also showing that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at stopping the spread of the virus. 

“Is it still an issue? Absolutely. But we went from 50-60 people dying to a couple, a couple too many but sometimes not even one,” said Melendez.

So as the CDC learns more information about the disease, and how the vaccines work against it, their recommendations on what is a safe change.

“We have to be flexible and we have to move with the statistics, and the statistics clearly indicate that this is the next move,” said Melendez.

Since COVID is a brand new disease, our knowledge of it had to start at the ground floor and work up from there. 

We have a basic understanding of how we can help the body defend ourselves from that particular organism, and so much is known,” said Melendez.

He also said that it would take years to fully understand the disease. He pointed to examples of other viruses we’ve known about for longer that we haven’t yet found a cure for.

“Is there a cure for HIV? No. Is there a cure for Herpes? No. Is there a cure for the common cold? No. Is there a cure for the flu? No,” said Melendez.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

More Throwback Thursday