By Emily Joshu Health Reporter For Dailymail.Com
23:04 10 Nov 2023, updated 01:03 11 Nov 2023
- The director of the CDC has recommended masking up in a new interview
- The recommendation comes as Americans largely shun masks and vaccines
- READ MORE: Up to four times more Americans refuse updated Covid vaccine
Health officials are still recommending masking up for the holidays, even as Covid cases continue to decline.
Dr Mandy Cohen, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommended in an interview masking up while traveling or gathering with loved ones – as well as getting the latest Covid vaccine before the holidays.
The guidance comes as Covid cases continue to decrease and up to four times more Americans are dodging updated vaccines compared to last year.
Dr Cohen, who led the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services before taking her place as CDC director in July, said she and her husband, as well as her 9- and 11-year-old daughters, have all received their Covid and flu vaccines.
She said: ‘I’m not just a CDC director. I’m also a doctor and a mom. And I want to tell you what I do for my own family.’
Dr Cohen gave an interview to Yahoo about recommendations for staying safe this holiday season. The site asked her to answer six frequently asked questions relating to health and the holiday season, and she provided answers for each.
When asked how to prevent sickness while traveling and gathering with loved ones, Dr Cohen’s answer included washing hands, improving ventilation indoors by opening windows and wearing a mask.
In an answer to a later question about respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), Dr Cohen said: ‘I’d encourage [parents] to use the same practices we’ve always done, which is to stay home when you’re sick, wash hands, stay away from others who may be sick and make sure that you’re using tools to protect yourself — whether that’s masks, ventilation or others.’
The CDC did not respond to DailyMail.com’s repeated requests for clarification on its official recommendations.
On its website, the health agency currently recommends masking up around others for at least 10 days if you have tested positive for Covid, and for up to 10 days if you’ve been exposed to someone who tested positive.
Dr Cohen said: ‘I wouldn’t recommend something for the American people that I wouldn’t recommend for my own family.
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‘I hope people can hear that and get to know me as a person to help cut through some of the information that they’re hearing, and understand why I’m recommending it for my family and want them to be healthy as well.’
She added: ‘Another thing you want to be thinking about is your own personal risk.
‘Are you over 65? Do you have an underlying condition? Are you going to visit someone who’s over 65? Are you gathering with someone who’s getting cancer treatment?
‘Those folks are at the highest risk of something bad happening, so in those cases, you want to layer on as many of those tools as possible.’
Following a surge earlier this summer, Covid cases have steadily declined since mid-September, CDC data reports.
As of October 28, the latest data available, there have been 15,745 hospitalizations. Around that time last year, there were 23,311.
Now, Americans are feeling the Covid fatigue – 52 percent say they ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ will not get the latest Covid booster vaccines.
Dr Paul Offit, a pediatrician, has previously told DailyMail.com younger adults did not need the vaccine because they were already at low risk for severe disease.