Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CNN’s John Berman on New Day Wednesday that masking is the safest way to get children back in schools.
“We’ve seen over the summer that there have been numerous school outbreaks in places that haven’t taken the proper prevention strategies,” she said, adding that the goal is to make sure that children get back to full in-person schooling and have a relatively normal school year.
Children younger than 12 aren’t eligible to be vaccinated yet, and just 30% of 12- to 17-year-olds are vaccinated, Walensky said.
“The majority of people in our schools right now will be unvaccinated, just by virtue of the numbers,” she said. “And we felt it was really important to lean in and try and have our children back to school in the safest way possible, and that would mean masking.”
Walensky also pointed out that although there is no evidence to suggest Delta is making children sicker, “it’s really important for people to understand that this is not a benign disease in kids compared to other diseases that our kids see.”