With delta breakthrough cases on the rise, the state today released updated Covid-19 guidance that calls for anybody who might be at high risk for complication - or who lives or works with somebody who is - to start wearing masks in stores and other indoor places again.
The state guidance is based in part on what happened in Provincetown, which saw an explosion of Covid-19 cases recently, largely among people who were fully vaccinated.
At a press conference this afternoon, Gov. Baker said that vaccines do work - that even though delta may be spread as easily as more common viruses, new Covid-19 cases remain far, far more likely among the unvaccinated, and that the number of fully vaccinated people who get sick enough to require hospitalization or who die remains incredibly low.
Baker rejected the idea of issuing guidance just for areas of the state that have seen particularly sharp upticks in cases - such as Barnstable County - saying that would just needlessly confuse people in a state where people frequently travel between counties. Wearing a mask if you're at risk of complications or associate closely with someone who does is just simpler to remember - and is a good idea in any case - he said.
He added that he still expects all public schools to open this fall, but with the proviso that children under 12 - not yet eligible for vaccination - and any staffers who have not gotten a shot to wear a mask while indoors. He said the state is planning a series of vaccination efforts across the state over coming weeks to encourage teens to get vaccinated. In fact, his press conference was in Roxbury, at one such effort organized by the Madison Park Development Corp.