There are some 1,900 children in the United States hospitalized with COVID-19, according to updated data logged Monday by the US Department of Health and Human Services — setting a new pandemic record for kids.
That figure represented about 2.4% of the nation’s total coronavirus hospitalizations as of Saturday, according to a Reuters report.
The spike is leading in states with notable outbreaks, including Texas, Florida, California, Ohio and Georgia — densely populated states where full vaccination rates are below 55%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which hopes to eventually see a minimum of 70% of the country inoculated.
For now, kids under age 12 have not been permitted to receive any of the available COVID-19 vaccines.
The news comes as political leaders vie for control over state-level pandemic management.
While many school districts have made a call to require both students and faculty to wear masks on campus, some state governments have attempted to prohibit such mandates, namely Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who threatened to withhold education funding for districts found in violation, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has sued Dallas County over their mask requirement.
Those calls were made despite the CDC’s most recent guidelines urging for masks indoors, including K-12 schools.
“Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with proper prevention strategies,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky at the time.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is said to be planning for a universal masking order in all US public schools.
Teachers, including the National Education Association (NEA), the largest teachers union in the nation, are speaking out in support of masking, as well as a polled 63% of parents, who agreed that — at minimum — schools should mandate that unvaccinated students and staff should wear masks, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll.