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26 COVID-19 Cases Linked to Unvaccinated Marin County Elementary School Teacher: CDC

A COVID-19 outbreak at a Marin County elementary school is a case study in how highly contagious the delta variant is.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an unvaccinated teacher felt sick in May and assumed she had allergies. School policy required her to be masked, but she removed her mask to read aloud and within days, half of her 24 students tested positive.

Classroom layout shows students’ COVID-19 test results by seating chart. (Aug. 27, 2021)

The infection rate in the classroom’s first two rows, nearest the teacher, was 80% — eight of 10 students.

The sick students then infected siblings and parents, for a total of 26 people, stemming from a single case.

“It’s safe to say the index case was an unvaccinated person who was eligible to be vaccinated,” said Dr. Matt Willis, the county’s public health officer, to the Mercury News. “All the cases are unvaccinated individuals. That includes people who were eligible to be vaccinated but were unvaccinated and people who were not eligible to be vaccinated, by virtue of age.”

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