According to a new CDC study, one unvaccinated elementary school teacher managed to infect no less than 22 of their students with COVID-19 as well as some of their parents.
While this happened back in April, when the school year was coming to an end and the country was close to breaking a new record in vaccination rates, the results of this study were just released by CDC on Friday, revealing that an anonymous teacher in Marin County was responsible for infecting a lot of students and their immediate families.
The school outbreak was a true example of what can happen when one single person lets their “guard down,” – is the way Mary Jane Burke, Marin County Superintendent of Schools, put it when talking about the incident.
The freshly published CDC study, which was written by Marin County public health epidemiologist Tracy Lam Hine, proves that a total of 22 students contracted COVID-19 from being around their unvaccinated teacher.
Dr. Lisa Santora, Marin County Deputy Public Health Officer, declared that: “An unvaccinated person and someone who took their mask off to read to children occasionally. If this wasn’t Delta we wouldn’t have seen this outbreak event.”
Tracy Lam-Hine also stated that “Students that were sitting in front of the classroom closer to the teacher were at higher risk, and we noticed that the infection in the students started to appear quite quickly right afterwards,” adding that through contact tracing they were able to zero in on the teacher as the main cause of the outbreak.
They also mentioned that, while the students were too young to get the vaccine at the time, not being priority cases, their symptoms were rather mild but that they went on to spread the virus to an unknown number of people that might have been affected more severely.
Some of them are known, however, due to the fact that they were their immediate family members such as their parents.
In the case of the young ones, “The most common report of symptoms were fever or headache and a cough.”
The main reason why this case study is so important is that it offered the first clues that the Delta variant is different and also that breakthrough cases were taking place.
Dr. Lisa Santora explains that “Some of the parents who got sick were asymptomatic, they were vaccinated, asymptomatic and just got tested and found out they positive.”