SOMERSET — Following yesterday's new CDC guidelines recommending wearing masks indoors in areas with high or substantial risk of COVID-19 transmission, the town of Somerset is urging its residents to wear masks in public indoor spaces.

The new recommendations apply even to fully vaccinated people due to the rapid spread of the COVID Delta variant, which is transmissible even for those who have gotten the shot.

Somerset Town Administrator Richard Brown shared the latest safety guidance with residents in a Wednesday afternoon message, urging them to get vaccinated and wear a mask in indoor public settings.

He noted that Bristol County communities are areas of substantial transmission.

Level of community COVID transmission. Courtesy CDC.gov

Bristol County — which includes the town of Somerset along with the cities of Fall River and New Bedford and many other SouthCoast towns — is listed as having a substantial level of community transmission, according to the CDC.

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It is one of just five Massachusetts counties with an elevated risk of transmission.

The others are Suffolk, Dukes, Nantucket, and Barnstable Counties.

Barnstable County is listed as high risk due to an outbreak in Provincetown that has seen hundreds of Delta variant cases.

In his message, Brown stated that "virtually all" COVID hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S. are among unvaccinated people, and that the highest levels of transmission are in places with low vaccination rates.

Bristol County has the highest estimated vaccine hesitancy rate in Massachusetts. Courtesy CDC.gov

According to the CDC, Bristol County has the highest vaccine hesitancy rate in Massachusetts.

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