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Could masks come back as COVID cases rise?

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 5:59 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The Delta Variant is spreading and COVID cases are rising across the country while vaccination ratings are declining.

In South Dakota, only 46% of the population is fully vaccinated. Experts say that at least 70% of the population needs to be vaccinated to reach what’s known as herd immunity.

Because of these slowing rates, some places in the U.S., including Los Angeles and Nevada, are taking steps to re-implement mask-wearing, including for vaccinated people.

Dr. Shankar Kurra with Monument Health said that talk of mandates adds to the list of reasons to get vaccinated.

”The real concern would be a new variant that’s even more transmissible,” Kurra said. “At least currently, vaccines are effective against all the variants.”

Kurra said that if vaccinations get to where they need to be, we’ll be in good shape to permanently put the masks away.

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