An unvaccinated teacher spread COVID-19 to 50% of students in a classroom after taking off a mask to read, CDC says

Students in school wearing masks Photo by KURT DESPLENTER/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images
The CDC reported that a COVID-19 epidemic was started by an unvaccinated teacher. It spread to 26 people.

According to the report, although the school required that teachers wear masks when they read aloud, some teachers didn't.

Talking people spit more virus aerosols, making it even more important to wear a mask.

Check out more stories from Insider's business page.

According to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, a Marin County primary-school teacher who was not vaccinated spread COVID-19, to 26 others, including half of their class, after becoming sick at school for two days.

Friday's report highlights the importance of vaccinating and masking elementary-school teachers in order to protect children younger than 12 years old who are not yet vaccinated.

"We know how we can protect our children in school. "We have the tools," Rochelle Walensky, Director of CDC, said Friday as she discussed the report at a White House COVID-19 briefing.

Walensky stated that the teacher was both unvaccinated and symptomatic. He also "was unmasked reading aloud to his class" which had students too young to need vaccinations.

According to the report, 12 COVID-19 cases were reported among 24 children in the class. There were also six other illnesses at K-8 School. Eight parents and siblings were also infected.

To determine if the cases were related, the investigation used viral-genome sequence sequencing. All COVID-19 cases were identified as the Delta variant. This variant is approximately twice as contagious than other viruses.

Nobody was admitted.

Even with masks, sitting closer to the teacher increased the chance of kids getting sick.

According to the CDC, 12 students were exposed to COVID-19 by a teacher who was not vaccinated. The teachers used masks and distancing to conceal the fact that the children were being exposed. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC created a map of the classroom that shows the prevention actions taken.

To promote ventilation and good spacing, students' desks were placed 6 feet apart. Windows and doors were left unclosed to allow for airflow. An air filter was also installed at the head. According to interviews conducted by the CDC with parents, kids adhered to CDC guidelines regarding masking and distancing at school.

Continue the story

But, with an unmasked and unvaccinated teacher at its helm, all of that seemed to be irrelevant.

Two days passed while the teacher was symptomatic. It began on May 19, when their symptoms started to worsen from initial congestion, fatigue, and fever.

It seemed that students were better protected if they sat farther from the teacher who was sick. This makes sense considering how the coronavirus spreads through the air, when people shout or talk.

According to the CDC report, "The attack rate in two rows closest to the teacher’s desk was 80% (8 out of 10) and 21% (3 out of 14) in three back rows."

This finding confirms what other experts have said for some time: more adults must be vaccinated against the Delta variant.

Mike Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota, stated Thursday that six feet is not magic. He stressed that he didn't think the CDC guidelines were sufficient to stop the spread of the more contagious Delta variant.

Osterholm stated, "We can make [school] more safe." "We use our vaccines first."

Business Insider has the original article.