Masks at home and in public

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Young woman with small boy standing by window, prevention and protection.

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- Top White House aides and the Biden administration are debating whether or not they should urge vaccinated Americans to wear masks in more settings, as the COVID-19 delta variant causes spikes in infections across the country, according to multiple people familiar with the discussions.

The delta variant has quickly become the dominant strain of coronavirus in the U.S. resulting in a rise in infections and hospitalizations. (John Farrell/The Washington Post)

The talks are in a preliminary phase and their result could be as simple as new messaging from top White House officials. But some of the talks include officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who are separately examining whether to update their masking guidance, according to a Biden administration aide and a federal health official.

Public places in the conversation include indoor locations such as movie theaters and shopping malls. 

The conversations are taking place as the country is seeing more than 40,000 new cases of coronavirus infections a day, an increase from a low of about 11,000 cases a day in June. The uptick is largely driven by the delta variant, a far more infectious strain of the novel coronavirus.

Any new masking recommendations would be primarily aimed at protecting the unvaccinated population, which makes up nearly all current hospitalizations and deaths caused by the virus.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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