The headlines are everywhere: a new, more contagious variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is on the rise and some students who are not yet eligible or have not received the vaccine are most at risk for contracting the virus. With schools reopening in just a few weeks, this news has parents, teachers, and just about everyone else concerned.
What is the Delta variant?
Since viruses change through mutation, health officials have had to keep track of these changes as they circulate through the population. The Delta variant was first detected in India in winter of 2020 and reached the United States in March 2021. Because the Delta variant appears to be more aggressive and transmittable than other variants, the CDC estimated that it now makes up 83.2% of recent U.S. cases.
Additionally, "breakthrough" cases have been observed with this new variant—meaning that even fully vaccinated people can contract, carry, and spread the virus. The good news is that breakthrough cases account for less than 1% of Delta variant cases, according to the CDC. Vaccination remains the most effective defense against the virus, according to Yale Medicine, and even when a vaccinated individual does become infected with COVID-19, their symptoms are relatively minor and rarely require hospitalization.
How does the Delta variant affect children?
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the coronavirus seems to have a milder impact on children who are not immunocompromised. According to Harvard Health, many children that contract the virus may experience a low-grade fever, fatigue, and cough. However, some cases can be more severe, and some cases may not experience any symptoms at all. The virus continues to be a challenge for many health professionals, as changes occur daily and there are still many unknowns about how the virus behaves.
Even though most children can overcome COVID-19 on their own, it’s important to remember that they can still carry and spread the virus among more vulnerable populations. In order to keep school faculty, teachers, and parents safe, it’s important to take precautions against COVID-19 in schools.
What precautions can schools take to protect students against the Delta variant?
Although restrictions have been lifted for vaccinated adults in many areas of the country, schools where students are not eligible to receive the vaccine are working to determine the best course of action to keep students safe. While there are some varied opinions about enforcing mask mandates, most school officials agree that continuing increased hygiene measures are key. That includes:
- More frequent and thorough hand washing
- More frequent and thorough disinfecting of surfaces, using proper disinfectant products
- Wearing facemasks
- Social distancing
- Improved ventilation
Even though combatting the coronavirus will require a combination of preventive measures, when it comes to surface disinfection, Dreumex has the solution. Dreumex’s line of disinfecting wipes, including Monk® brand have been certified by the EPA to kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, making these products the perfect choice for schools, daycares, or other institutions.