An unvaccinated teacher who showed up to her elementary school classroom in Marin County, California, while experiencing symptoms such as “cough, subjective fever, and headache” ended up infecting half of her students with Covid-19 as well as some of their family members, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Friday.
Officials from the Marin County Department of Public Health initiated an investigation into the classroom outbreak on May 26, three days after the teacher reported testing positive for Covid-19. The teacher, who initially attributed symptoms to allergies, was one of only two staff members that had not been vaccinated at the elementary school.
Among the teacher’s 24 students, 22 who were ineligible for vaccination because of age were tested. Twelve tested positive for the virus, according to the report, written by county health officials and experts at the University of California’s Berkeley, Davis and Santa Cruz campuses.
Children under 12 are ineligible for vaccination, meaning that their safety is dependent on others adults to get vaccinated to minimize exposure to the virus, according to the CDC.
Experts concluded that the attack rate in the affected classroom was 50 percent, but the students seating closest to the teacher’s desk faced an increased risk of infection. The attack rate in the two rows seated closest to the teacher’s desk was 80 percent, the CDC reported.
A majority of the students sitting in the first two rows of the classroom contracted the virus, while a minority of those sitting at the back of the class were infected. The teacher occasionally read aloud to students while unmasked, despite school requirements to mask while indoors, according to the report.
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SOURCE: NBC News, Nicole Acevedo