The CDC now recommends masks for vaccinated people – but at least 6 major cities had already told residents to mask up again

la mask requirement
Lilian Zhu, 17, works at her laptop inside Charlie’s Coffee House in South Pasadena, California, on July 18, 2021.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended on Tuesday that vaccinated people wear masks in public indoor settings – a change from the previous guidelines, which suggested vaccinated people didn’t need masks. The new rules apply to areas of the country with high rates of coronavirus transmission, as well as K-12 schools, the CDC said.

Some vaccinated Americans, though, have already been told to mask up again.

Amid a rise in COVID-19 cases fueled by the Delta variant, at least six cities have issued new mask guidance in the last few weeks. Los Angeles and St. Louis have instated official mask mandates for all residents, while New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle have recommended masks.

Some cities have also reissued mask mandates for specific indoor settings. Clark County, Nevada – which includes Las Vegas – began requiring masks in court facilities last week. Public schools in Atlanta, Chicago, and New York City will require students and staff to wear masks this school year, regardless of their vaccination status. And in Hawaii, the government is waiting until more residents are vaccinated before lifting its indoor mask mandate.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Fox News that these local mask requirements are “quite understandable” given Delta’s prevalence in the US.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on Tuesday that vaccinated people infected with Delta may be contagious and spread the virus to others. Data on previous variants indicated that vaccinated people were less likely to transmit the virus than unvaccinated people.

At least 6 cities have issued new mask guidance

New Orleans mask
An employee at Turtle Bay, a bar in the French Quarter, wears a mask as he takes the names and contact information of people walking in on May 16, 2020.

The San Francisco Bay Area was among the first places to buck the no-mask trend in July. Several Bay Area counties, including San Francisco County, began recommending masks for all people – vaccinated or not – in indoor spaces like theaters, grocery stores, and retail stores starting July 16. In nearby San Mateo County, masks are now required, even for fully vaccinated people, inside county offices, clinics, and public facilities.

Los Angeles County also reinstated its indoor mask mandate on July 18 following a sharp uptick in cases. Average daily cases more than doubled there in the first two weeks of July, then tripled by the third week.

In New Orleans, health officials issued a “mask advisory” instead of a mandate. The city’s “inadequate vaccination rate” was part of the reason for that rule, they said. New Orleans has the second-highest vaccination rate in Louisiana – around 57% of residents have received at least one dose – but cases have still increased 10-fold there since the start of July.

two students sitting at their desks, wearing masks
Students wearing masks listen to their teacher during third grade summer school in Los Angeles, June 23, 2021.

On Thursday, Philadelphia also “strongly recommended” that all residents wear masks inside public places. James Garrow, a spokesperson for the city’s health department, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that officials were concerned about an uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations among the city’s unvaccinated children.

King County, Washington, which includes Seattle, followed suit with a similar recommendation on Friday. Health officials now advise that all residents ages 5 and up wear masks in indoor public settings – despite the fact that King County is one of the most vaccinated counties in the US. (Around 72% of residents have received at least one dose.)

“This extra layer of protection will help us all stay safer, including those who are unvaccinated, such as the 300,000 children in King County who aren’t able to get vaccinated yet, and the many thousands of people who have immune systems that are weakened or suppressed,” the county said in a statement.

St. Louis County, Missouri, took a firmer stance on Monday by requiring vaccinated people ages 5 and older wear masks on public transportation and in all indoor public spaces. The mandate doesn’t apply to people eating or drinking in restaurants or bars, though.

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2 pilots ejected from an F-15QA fighter jet during an emergency on the runway at a St. Louis airport

F-15QA
F-15QA

  • Two US pilots were forced to eject from an F-15 at MidAmerica St Louis Airport on Tuesday.
  • The incident happened on the runway, but the cause remains unknown.
  • The aircraft was an F-15QA, a new aircraft expected to be transferred to the Qatar Emeri Air Force.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Two US active-duty pilots ejected from an F-15 fighter jet Tuesday morning after an emergency on the runway at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Illinois, the US Air Force and a nearby base said.

Emergency responders arrived on the scene around 7:30 am local time. Both pilots were taken to a local hospital to address minor injuries and for observation. One pilot has been released, a spokesman for Scott Air Force Base, which is adjacent to MidAmerica Airport, said.

A St. Louis Post-Dispatch photojournalist posted a photo on Twitter of the mishap fighter jet, which is missing its canopy and sitting just off the runway on the grass with unidentified personnel nearby.

The aircraft involved in this incident was a new F-15QA fighter recently accepted by the Air Force from Boeing and expected to be transferred to the Qatar Emiri Air Force through the Foreign Military Sales program. The pilots, a source told Military.com, were from the Air Force and Navy and assigned to the Defense Contract Management Agency, which handles equipment delivery from contractors.

Boeing received a five-year $240 million contract in 2019 to support the QEAF by providing F-15QA program management, maintenance, and aircrew training, according to the company.

Scott Air Force Base tweeted in late February, that pilots who will fly Boeing’s new fighter were undergoing training and instruction at MidAmerica Airport with support from base personnel.

The US Air Force’s newest F-15 variant, the F-15EX Eagle II, is based on the F-15QA, according to Air Force Magazine. The F-15EX is replacing the aging fleet of F-15C/D fighters and, possibly, the F-15E Strike Eagles. The service received its first of the new fighters in March.

It is unclear exactly what happened Tuesday that caused the two pilots to eject from the F-15QA fighter on the runway. A safety board investigation is currently underway, according to Scott Air Force Base.

Update: This post was updated with additional information from the US Air Force and Scott Air Force Base.

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