Local health officials recommending masks for upcoming school year regardless of vaccination status
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Fargo Cass Public Health officials say the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 and rising cases in the state have prompted them to recommend schools require masks in the upcoming school year.
In a release, FCHP states Cass County is now designated as having a substantial COVID-19 transmission rate which means they recommend residents, both unvaccinated and vaccinated, wear masks in indoor public settings.
“This designation is continuously monitored and based on new cases, positivity rate, hospitalizations, deaths, social vulnerability index, and testing,” officials stated.
Fargo Cass Public Health went on to say:
According to CDC, the Delta variant has most recently surged to become the predominant variant, from less than 1% of cases in May to over 80% of cases in July. Important information about the Delta variant:
· The Delta variant is 200% more transmissible compared to previous strains of COVID-19.
· New data shows that people infected with Delta have up to 1000x higher viral loads, meaning they carry more virus in their nose, than with previous strains.
· Virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated.
· Though rare, vaccinated individuals who become infected can spread the Delta variant to others. Most “breakthrough infections” are mild, meaning the vaccines are effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and death.
West Fargo Public Schools sent out a survey to parents Tuesday evening in response to FCPH now recommending that K-12 schools require masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors, regardless of vaccination status and community transmission rates. The survey asks parents if they agree with the recommendations by both the CDC and FCHP, as the district currently does not require masks on school grounds and were planning to not mandate them in the upcoming school year.
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