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UArizona doctor advises everyone wear face masks due to Delta variant

(Photo by Alejandro Martinez Velez/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — A University of Arizona doctor on Monday recommended everyone, including those fully vaccinated, wear a mask amid a growing concern over the COVID-19 Delta variant.

Dr. Shad Marvasti, director of the College of Medicine, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad Show despite the protections provided by coronavirus vaccines, he believes it’s “premature” to stop wearing masks.

“The danger is because of the fact that this Delta variant is about 60% more infectious than the last variant,” Marvasti said.

He was referring to the Alpha variant from the UK which, he says, was 50% more transmissible and infectious than the one from Wuhan.

“It’s still a great idea to get vaccinated, in fact, that’s probably the best protection you have,” Marvasti said. “But outside of that, masks are very useful.”

Marvasti stressed the importance of masks for a return to normal life.

“We want to keep the economy open, keeps kids in school, we don’t want to shut anything down,” Marvasti said.

“Whether you’re vaccinated or unvaccinated, masks will work.”

According to Marvasti, as long as the rest of the world isn’t vaccinated, the potential for other variants still exists.

“I’m still wearing masks and I’ve been fully vaccinated since January,” Marvasti said. “I didn’t stop wearing masks because I knew these variants were around the corner.”

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For Arizona vaccine information, visit azdhs.gov/findvaccine.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

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