Different states lifting masks orders are trending higher, however on Wednesday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, mentioned they aren’t out of the woods, both.

“Please hear me clearly: At this stage of instances, with variants spreading, we stand to fully lose the hard-earned floor we have now gained,” she mentioned in a press briefing. “These variants are a really actual menace to our folks and our progress. Now isn’t the time to loosen up the crucial safeguards that we all know can cease the unfold of COVID-19 in our communities, not after we are so shut,” she mentioned.

Talking at a Mexican restaurant in Lubbock on Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott mentioned the success of the vaccines together with falling case counts and declines in hospitalizations made it clear that state mandates have been not wanted.

“Eradicating state mandates doesn’t finish private accountability,” he mentioned. “Private vigilance to comply with the secure requirements continues to be wanted.”

The issue with that stance, say researchers, is that it’s not sufficient. The good thing about masks depends upon all people carrying them. Research have proven that requiring the usage of masks makes a distinction.

“There’s simply overwhelming science on this,” mentioned Jeffrey Levi, PhD, professor of well being coverage and administration on the Georgetown College Faculty of Public Well being. “When masks mandates are imposed, an infection charges go down and when masks mandates are lifted, an infection charges go up. I imply, we have had sufficient pure experiments over the past 12 months for us to see the influence that this has,” Levi mentioned.

“It is a tragic politicization of our response to the pandemic and the implications is not going to be restricted to these states,” Levi mentioned.

A study published last month by scientists on the CDC in contrast the speed of development in COVID instances throughout greater than 3,000 U.S. counties between June and October of final 12 months. These with masks mandates have been 43% much less more likely to see a fast development of their infections in contrast to those who didn’t have them.

“Masks mandates can play a considerable function in stopping COVID-19 and may very well be particularly essential for individuals who’re required to work in-person, together with important staff and people working in crowded situations, significantly in nonmetropolitan areas,” the research authors wrote.