Over the weekend, the number of COVID hospitalizations for children surged to a record high, with children making up about 2.4% of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. Just over 1,900 kids have been hospitalized due to the highly transmissible delta variant. Children under the age of 12 are, unfortunately, still not eligible to receive the COVID vaccine—leaving them vulnerable hosts to the vicious virus.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that as of August 14, there are 1,902 pediatric hospitalizations for COVID across the country.

"This is not last year's COVID. This one is worse and our children are the ones that are going to be affected by it the most," Sally Goza, former president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, told CNN on Saturday.

While the delta variant is more contagious than last year's COVID, health experts still cannot say for sure whether the variant causes a more serious illness among children. As long as cases rise, however, more hospitalizations and deaths for everyone will also rise.


Number of U.S. kids hospitalized with COVID hits record

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With many children already back in school and millions more scheduled to start within the next few weeks, mask mandates in schools have been a hot topic across the U.S. Last week, the largest teacher's union in the country, the National Education Association, endorsed a vaccine mandate for teachers. Many states have left the decision to enforce masks up to the schools themselves, who are leaving the decision up to parents.

Public health experts believe having children wear masks at school is the best way to ensure schools remain open for in-person learning.

"While kids have been more resistant, and that's good news, they're not immortal around this," Children's Hospital Association CEO Mark Wietecha told The Hill. "We've had plenty of kids die, and we've had plenty of kids be impacted. And we just encourage parents to be as diligent as possible."

According to Reuters, the U.S. has an approximate average of 129,000 new COVID-19 cases per day—this rate has doubled in a little over two weeks and that number is now at a six-month high.