A single unvaccinated teacher at a Northern Californiain May that infected 26 others, including 18 students, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday. News of the startling, rapid spread in the school and to students’ families emerged as administrators grapple with vaccine and mask regulations for another school year in the face of blocking mask mandates.
At least 90,000 students nationwide have already been quarantined at the start of thisyear after contracting COVID-19 or being potentially exposed to the coronavirus. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children accounted for more than 1 in 5 new cases . The recent case examined by the CDC involved a Marin County from kindergarten through eighth grade. Although teachers and students were required to , the unidentified teacher who caused the infections had removed her show “on occasion” to read aloud in her class, the CDC noted. The study indicated that student desks were placed six feet apart, windows were left open, and all classrooms had high-efficiency .
The teacher worked on May 19 and 20 while experiencing earlyand taking sick leave. By May 22, students also began experiencing symptoms, the . Of the teacher’s 24 students, 12 . An additional six students in another grade also . in both grades were also infected. According to the CDC, three adults who tested positive were . “The introduction of the virus into the classroom by a teacher … while she was both symptomatic and unvaccinated, and who was unmasked when reading aloud to the class, resulted in cases within the classroom, across the school, and among families of students,” briefing Friday.
“We know how to protect our kids in school,” she added. “We have the tools.” Dr. Lisa Santora, deputyfor Marin County, said officials had urged teachers to be vaccinated since January, but many had not done it. “We saw firsthand that it wasn’t kids who would get teachers sick. It was going to be the reverse,” Santora told CNN. The CDC said that among those who in the outbreak, 81% reported symptoms, including fever, cough, headache, and sore throat. No one was hospitalized.
The outbreak “highlights the importance of vaccinating school staff members who are in close indoor contact with children ineligible for vaccination as schools reopen,” the CDC study warned, and the delta variant’s “increased transmissibility and potential for rapid spread, especially in unvaccinated populations.” In addition to getting vaccinated, “strict adherence to non-pharmaceutical prevention strategies — including masking, routine testing, facility ventilation, andwhen symptomatic — are important to ensure safe in-person learning in schools,” the study added.
Meanwhile, Republican Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas andFlorida, among others, have signed executive orders banning mask mandates in schools, even as the number of COVID-19 cases skyrockets in their states. A court blocked DeSantis’ ban on Friday, ruling that he had overstepped his authority. Leon County Circuit Judge John C. Cooper ruled that freedoms — such as not — are restricted when they negatively affect others. People have a right to , for example, but are barred from driving drunk and imperiling others’ lives and safety, he noted. At least 10 Florida districts had defied DeSantis and imposed . are also ignoring Abbott’s ban on mask mandates. Calling all HuffPost superfans!