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Kindergarteners play during recess on the first day of school at Los Angeles Unified School District. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

An outbreak at an elementary school classroom in Marin County, California, appears to have been caused by an unvaccinated teacher who was occasionally unmasked, a new case study out Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

Why it matters: The outbreak — in which about 50% of the students got infected with COVID-19 — highlights the challenge of sending unvaccinated children back to school, particularly in light of the Delta variant’s increased transmissibility.

Details: The unvaccinated teacher was one of only two school staff members at the school who were not vaccinated. The teacher reported having symptoms on May 19, but continued to work for two days before receiving a test.

  • The teacher also took off her mask to read aloud to the class, despite the school adhering to CDC masking recommendations. The school also spaced desks six feet apart and installed an air filter at the front of the classroom.
  • Of the 12 positive students within the classroom, six were symptomatic. Everyone sitting in the front row became infected.

The big picture: Several major school districts have stepped in to mandate vaccines for school staff. Last week, Washington state unveiled the strictest vaccine requirement for teachers in which all must be fully vaccinated.

By the numbers: On Friday, the White House said that half of U.S. children ages 12 to 17 have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination.

  • White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said that vaccinations in this age group are growing faster than any other demographic.

Editor’s note: This story was corrected to show the outbreak occurred in Marin County (not San Francisco).

Go deeper

Oct 20, 2021 - Health

In-N-Out refuses to follow San Francisco's vaccine mandate

Photo: James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images

The California burger chain In-N-Out is refusing to follow San Francisco's vaccination mandate, which requires restaurants to check for customers' proof of vaccination to dine indoors, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: The San Francisco Public Health Department has had to remind employees multiple times to check for proof of vaccination since September, ultimately resulting in the city's only In-N-Out location getting shut down on Oct. 14. It is the only time the agency has ordered a restaurant's closure over a mandate violation, officials told the Post.

Hawaii invites fully vaccinated travelers to return from Nov. 1

Hawaii Gov. David Ige. Photo: Darryl Oumi/Getty Images

Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) announced plans Wednesday to soon welcome back nonresidents to the island state who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for nonessential travel.

Why it matters: Hawaii's tourist-dependent labor market suffered one of the worst blows in the U.S. last year and the state's climb out of its pandemic-sized hole is moving slowly, Axios' Courtenay Brown notes.

Oct 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Parkland shooting victims' families settle suit with school district

A makeshift memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, 2020. Photo: Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Families and survivors of a 2018 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, reached a $25 million settlement in their lawsuit against the Broward County school district Monday, per the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Why it matters: The deal was reached in the suit over the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High after the school district won a Florida Supreme Court ruling that could have capped damages at $300,000 in total without approval from the state legislature, AP notes.