CDC, US Education Dept to host COVID-19 virtual town hall with parents

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Education will partner to hold a virtual town hall meeting with parents to discuss COVID-19 concerns.

The webinar will take place on July 29 at 8 p.m. ET. Parents are asked to pre-submit their questions. 

"While one of Biden Administration’s top priorities is to have all students back in-person this fall, they recognize that this goal will not be met if parents’ voices are not heard, and their concerns taken into account," officials said in a statement.

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Schools across the country are working to figure out how to conduct the upcoming academic year in the midst of rising COVID-19 cases fueled mostly by the more-transmissible delta variant. The variant, which originated in India, now accounts for an estimated 83% of coronavirus samples genetically identified in the U.S. The CDC says it is the predominant strain in every region of the country and is spreading with efficiency.

Widespread mask-wearing is expected to continue this fall in some of the nation’s largest school districts, but not in others. 

In Detroit’s public schools, everyone will be required to wear a mask unless everyone in the classroom has been vaccinated. 

Chicago Public Schools announced Thursday its students, teachers and staff will be required to wear masks indoors when they return to classrooms in August.

In Georgia, Atlanta Public Schools announced Thursday that it will implement a "universal mask wearing" policy in all of the system’s school buildings when fall classes begin.

RELATED: AAP: Students, staff should wear masks in schools — regardless of vaccination status

Students and staff in the Kansas City public school district will likely be required to wear masks when school starts next month because of an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the region, a district official said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended universal masking in schools, even for those who are vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month recommended mask-wearing indoors only for students and staff who are not fully vaccinated.

The vaccine has not been approved for children under 12. If it shown to be safe and effective for younger ages, vaccine manufacturers may seek emergency authorization sometime this fall or winter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.