Vaccinated Teachers and Students No Longer Need Masks, the CDC Says
By Yehudit Garmaise
Vaccinated teachers and students no longer need to wear masks inside school buildings, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday, now that the average daily hospitalization rate of COVID patients has decreased to 16 in the last seven days.
Another heartening indicator that the pandemic is nearing its end is that only three New Yorkers in the last seven days have died of COVID.
“We’re at a new point in the pandemic that we’re all really excited about,” and so it us time to update the guidance, said Erin Sauber-Schatz, who leads the CDC task force that prepares recommendations designed to keep Americans safe from COVID-19.
Although the children as young as 12 are now eligible to get vaccinated, the CDC has curiously not advised schools to require shots for teachers and vaccine-eligible kids.
Nor is the CDC offering any suggestions to help teachers to determine which students are vaccinated, and therefore which students should still be wearing masks.
In addition, parents will have no way of knowing which teachers are immunized.
“It would be a very weird dynamic, socially, to have some kids wearing masks and some not,” said Elizabeth Stuart, a John Hopkins University public health professor. And tracking that? Teachers shouldn’t need to be keeping track of which kids should have masks on.”
Although many COVID indicators are decreasing, the number of COVID cases that are identified as originating from the Delta strain is not 50%, a concerning number that is up from 26% on June 19, reported Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, who is the CDC’s director.
“What we know is that that variant is most risky for people who are not yet fully vaccinated,” Dave Chokshi, MD, New York City’s health commissioner said yesterday, while pointing out that more than 9.5 million New Yorkers have gotten at least one shot.