The Washington Post reported:

It’s back-to-school week for many families in the United States — just as coronavirus cases surge among children and teens. Weekly pediatric coronavirus cases surpassed 250,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic, according to the most recent data published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Its data shows that more than a quarter of weekly reported coronavirus cases in the United States were among children for the week ending Sept. 2. And while most pediatric cases are not severe, nearly 2,400 children were hospitalized nationwide with covid-19 in the seven days ending Tuesday — more than ever before, according to data tracked by The Washington Post.

Covid cases in children dipped early in the summer but quickly rose again, both with the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant and because coronavirus vaccines are not authorized for children under 12. Half of children ages 12 to 15 have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while that number climbs to 58 percent for 16- and 17-year-olds.

With the return to schools, experts fear the situation could worsen as battles over mask and vaccine mandates rage, although Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that is not inevitable. “We’ve got to get the school system masked in addition to surrounding the children with vaccinated people,” he told CNN on Tuesday. “That’s the solution.”