CDC recommends masks as Delta variant surges

More information will be shared on NSEA’s all-member webinar at 8 p.m. CT on Thursday, Sept. 2.  Watch your email or contact the NSEA for webinar details.

As the COVID-19 virus continues to mutate, communities across Nebraska are seeing a new wave of coronavirus cases. Timing to reduce the spread is crucial as students return to their classrooms for in-person learning this fall.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.

Both the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics state that students benefit from being at school in-person instead of learning remotely. Universal masking is critical to keeping kids in school.

The AAP states that the Delta variant is 200% more transmissible and results in up to a thousand times more viral load inside a person’s body compared to the original SARS-CoV-2 virus. That’s similar to the contagiousness of chickenpox and higher than that of smallpox. On average, one person carrying the virus can infect between six and 10 others.

Vaccinated individuals are still able to spread the virus to others, though their own symptoms may be less severe. As of Aug. 12, only 39% of 16- to 17-year-olds and 27% of 12- to 15-year-olds were fully vaccinated in the United States.

The Nebraska Child Health and Education Alliance encourages teachers and students over age 12 to get a vaccine.

A vaccine is not yet approved for children under age 12, so using multiple prevention strategies is highly recommended to help protect our youngest students and their families.

Prevention strategies continue to be frequent handwashing, maintaining physical distance, covering coughs and sneezes, frequent and thorough cleaning and sanitation, testing for the virus after potential exposure, and quarantining when sick.

The NSEA encourages Nebraska educators to follow this guidance from the CDC and other health experts. Go to, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find out where vaccines are available in your community.