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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Mayo Clinic Monday announced it is once again requiring all staff members to wear masks in all its buildings - whether they are vaccinated or not.

Mayo made the decision "Due to the continued spread of the delta variant" of the Covid-19 virus."

Patients and visitors were already required to wear a face covering.

Mayo says it decided to extend the requirement to staff for the safety of co-workers, patients, and visitors.

Kim David/TSM

 

Mayo says it is seeing areas of high transmission in Arizona, Florida, and Northwest Wisconsin, as well as Dodge and Waseca counties in Minnesota.

Mayo says "the number of cases it is seeing and the levels of community transmission in these areas have increased dramatically in recent weeks."

Here is the announcement in its entirety:

Due to the continued spread of the delta variant, Mayo Clinic will again require all staff members, regardless of role and COVID-19 vaccination status, to wear masks in all Mayo Clinic buildings, effective Monday, Aug. 2. Patient and visitors are already required to universally mask, and Mayo has decided to extend universal masking of staff at all locations for the safety of staff, patients and visitors.

Mayo Clinic's decision aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's for indoor mask use for those who are vaccinated due to the continued spread of the highly contagious delta COVID-19 variant.

“The delta variant is more contagious than the previous strains that we've had in the U.S. But it's also causing more severe illness that is causing hospitalizations to increase and ICU admissions to increase. And we're looking at another wave of the pandemic. It's more contagious, and that's concerning. It's more serious, and that's concerning," says Dr. Melanie Swift, co-chair of Mayo Clinic's COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation and Distribution Work Group.

Mayo Clinic is seeing areas of high transmission in Arizona, Florida and Northwest Wisconsin, as well as Dodge and Waseca counties in Minnesota. The number of cases Mayo Clinic is seeing and the levels of community transmission in these areas have increased dramatically in recent weeks.

To lower the rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations ― and once again lift masking requirements ― it's crucial that all eligible children and adults are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Completing both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine offers greater than 80% protection against the delta variant of COVID-19. However, completing only one dose offers only 30% protection against the delta variant, according to Dr. Gregory Poland, infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. Therefore, all transmission mitigation efforts, such as masking and social distancing, need to be pursued.

 

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