The polarization surrounding mask mandates is deepening as some state and local officials spar on how to approach face coverings protocols in schools, a debate unfolding as more children contract Covid-19.
In Florida, which has the second-highest rate of new cases per capita after Louisiana, children’s hospitals and staff are “overwhelmed,” said Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert at Florida International University.
“The numbers of cases in our hospitals in children and our children’s hospitals are completely overwhelmed,” Marty told CNN’s Jim Sciutto on Friday evening.
“Our pediatricians, the nursing, the staff are exhausted, and the children are suffering. And it is absolutely devastating. … Our children are very much affected. We’ve never seen numbers like this before,” she said.
Marty noted that Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami is at 116% occupancy for Covid-19 patients.
A surge in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations, fueled by the rapid spread of the Delta coronavirus variant, is happening in the US as millions of children are returning to schools. It is reigniting conversations on measures to lower transmission so students can safely be in the classroom.