U.S. anticipates more weeks of a COVID surge

(CNN) – The current surge of COVID cases is expected to continue and potentially worsen as kids head back to school.

Health officials worry about the strain on hospitals as the push to increase vaccination rates intensifies.

Back to school policies became the latest pandemic battleground as case numbers climb across the country.

One official warns the U.S. could soon hit 200,000 new cases per day as the Delta variant spreads with terrifying risk for the unvaccinated.

National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins said, “All we can say is this is going very steeply upwards with no signs of having peaked out.”

Children and educators returning to in-person learning are getting conflicting messages on masking in some states

The governors of Florida and Texas issued executive orders banning mask mandates in schools.

But some districts, including Dallas, Texas, are defying the order by requiring masks in school.

Dallas Independent School District Superintendant Michael Hinojosa said, “We’re going to be benevolent about it. We’re going to give

them a little time to comply but we are not going to let them mix with the rest of the students.”

The US Department of Education sent stern letters to Governors Ron Desantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas vowing to support educators who require masks.

More children are now being hospitalized with the virus with those 17 and under hospitalized last week in numbers 21% higher than the week before, according to CDC data.

Oregon is deploying the National Guard to help stressed hospital systems.

Health officials insist vaccination is the most effective way to slow the spread, but just under 51 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated.

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