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CDC recommends wearing masks indoors, group rallies for optional masking in San Diego schools

A demonstration was held outside the SDUSD board meeting with parents, teachers, and students waving signs calling for masks to be optional in classrooms.

SAN DIEGO — Masks will again be a way of life for us, according to a recommendation by the CDC on Tuesday. It has some applauding the move with others dead-set against it.

A demonstration was held outside the San Diego Unified School District board meeting with parents, teachers, and students waving signs calling for masks to be optional in the classroom.

Nicole Rieck is a first-grade teacher at Empresa Elementary School in Vista and a member of a group calling itself "Let Them Breathe." 

"Being a teacher in a classroom, I'm really not concerned because I feel like the science has shown us that children are not super spreaders and they have amazing immune systems that we need to trust," she said. "And I know our district has gone above and beyond with our personal protective equipment." 

But many health experts disagree; including an infectious disease doctor who's been studying the pandemic.

"When there's a lot of virus circulating, essentially what can happen is you get the virus in your nose as a vaccinated person and these mild break-through infections are much higher with the Delta," Dr. Monica Gandhi MD said. 

The professor of medicine at UC San Francisco thinks we should be looking at hospitalizations, rather than just COVID-19 cases reported.

"I actually think that if they'd done a hospitalization metric then we'd have cut out all that noise and said, 'OK, if hospitalizations are rising: everyone mask, if they're not, if hospitalizations are low, we can take them off.'"

San Diego County issued the following statement on the CDC recommendations:

"The rate of COVID-19 cases in San Diego County is rated 'high' by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New research reveals the Delta variant is much more transmissible and expected to lead to a growing number of cases in vaccinated individuals while primarily striking the unvaccinated.

The County of San Diego will follow the latest CDC guidance in recommending the universal wearing of masks by both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in indoor public settings. Masks are an added measure; vaccinations are critical for getting back to the things we love."

Mayor Todd Gloria's office issued the following statement 

"The City of San Diego follows the lead of public-health experts at the County and the State on how to protect residents from the highly contagious Delta variant. Mayor Gloria urges everyone who hasn’t yet been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible – to keep all of us healthy and make sure our economic recovery continues to move forward.”

The CDC's statements Tuesday are not a mandate but a recommendation. 

WATCH RELATED: CDC reverses course on indoor masks in parts of US where COVID is surging