We're seeing an alarming jump in COVID cases among teens and children in the U.S.
Almost 72,000 young Americans caught COVID last week alone, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. That's an 84% jump from the week before. And five times higher, than the end of June.
It's all happening right as the new school year gets ready to start.
"We aren't out of the woods yet. But if we get vaccinated, and if we keep using science-based prevention strategies, we can be. We cannot let mask fatigue, pride, or politics get in the way of doing what is right for our students," said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. "Our children should not have to compromise any more of their educational experiences or time in school due to increases in community spread."
Cardona emphasized the importance of getting kids back in the classroom this fall. Being there "safely" is also key.
Just 10 states are requiring masks in class – Illinois is the latest – while eight others say no mandates are allowed. The rest fall somewhere in between – leaving it up to local districts to decide.