By Trang Do

BUCKS COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — As the country’s top health official says the United States is “going in the wrong direction” with the Delta variant, Philadelphia area schools are trying to get their own COVID protocols in order ahead of the fall.

Central Bucks School District is in a contentious debate over its mask-optional policy for the 2021-22 school year, a move many parents have applauded.

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Recent comments by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, along with the presence of the Delta variant, have some parents taking a second look at their schools’ policies.

“‘We’re going in the wrong direction,” Dr. Fauci says. “If you look at the inflection of the curve of new cases and, as you said in the run-in to this interview, that it is among the unvaccinated.”

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A group of Bucks County medical professionals and parents are now speaking out against the district’s proposed plan, which they say goes against the American Academy of Pediatrics guidance of masking anyone in schools over the age of 2.

The concern with the Delta variant is its ability to spread faster than earlier strands of COVID. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who is on the board for Pfizer, says virus levels are higher in those infected with Delta.

“For most people who get this Delta variant, it’s going to be the most serious virus that they will get in their lifetime in terms of the risk of putting them in the hospital,” Dr. Gottlieb, who is also a former FDA commissioner, says.

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These revelations have the Bucks County group asking their school board for a mask requirement, saying it will protect those who either cannot be vaccinated yet or who are medically fragile. The group will hold a press conference Tuesday evening before the district’s scheduled board meeting.