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Two-thirds of Indiana counties affected by latest CDC mask guidance

Much of central Indiana is included among those with high and substantial transmission rates in the latest data set.

INDIANAPOLIS — More than two-thirds of Indiana's counties fall under the CDC's new guidance for face masks.

Tuesday, the agency said people in counties with substantial or high amounts of community transmission of COVID-19 should wear masks indoors, even if they've been fully vaccinated. 

In Indiana, that would mean 65 of 92 counties would be included in the new guidance.

Substantial transmission means there's been 50-100 cases per 100,000 over a 7-day period, and high transmission means an area has seen more than 100 cases per 100,000 over a 7-day period, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky explained.

LINK: See CDC's county-by-county COVID transmission tracker

The agency's online data tracker features a color-coded interactive map that shows different levels of community transmission. In the color-coded map, orange reflects substantial community transmission and red indicates high transmission. 

On Tuesday, July 27, the data tracker covered a time period from July 19-25, 2021. Forty Indiana counties are experiencing high transmission over that time. Twenty-five more have substantial transmission. 

Much of central Indiana is included among those with high and substantial transmission rates in the latest data set.

Madison County is currently experiencing high transmission rates, with Marion County and the rest of the "donut counties" - Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson and Shelby counties - seeing substantial transmission rates. Clinton, Grant, Howard and Tipton counties are also reporting high transmission rates for the reporting period.

More than 2,000 counties across the U.S. would be affected by the new guidance, which follows recent decisions in Los Angeles and St. Louis to revert to indoor mask mandates amid a spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations that have been especially bad in the South. 

The country is averaging more than 57,000 cases a day and 24,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations.

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