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State Officials Grow Concerned About COVID-19 Spread in Children

Marianna Bacallao, WVIK News

As schools reopen nationwide, officials are growing increasingly concerned about the spread of the delta variant to children.

Dr. Larry Kociolek is a pediatric physician and Director of the Infection Prevention and Control program at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago. He says over the past two months, the hospital has seen a 500% increase in the number of children diagnosed with COVID-19 each day.

"If we see further surges of COVID-19, that has the very real risk of stressing our healthcare resources that will just simply not allow us to provide prompt care to all children who need life-saving care for illness or injuries."

The number of COVID-19 cases in children nationwide has jumped from 40,000 cases a week in July to 180,000 last week. That's a fourfold increase in just a month.

Also Thursday, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced a statewide indoor mask mandate, as well as a vaccine mandate for school personnel and medical workers.