As young Americans are starting a new school year, Covid-19 rates among children and teens are rising to rates. Those have not been seen since the pandemic’s winter surge before vaccines were made widely available.
- On a state level, local leaders have noticed a sharp uptick in cases among children. In Maricopa county, Arizona, home to Phoenix, children under 12 make up one-sixth of the county’s Covid cases, and 6% of hospitalizations are children. In Tennessee, children under 18 are making up nearly 40% of cases in the state, with over 14,000 cases among children. Texas has reported 20,256 positive cases in the new school year, along with 7,488 cases among staff.
- Pennsylvania is the latest state to enact a statewide mask mandate in all schools as the Delta variant continues to fuel a surge in cases nationwide. In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul also announced new COVID measures for schools. Governor Hochul previously announced a mask mandate in schools. She also said New York may extend vaccine requirements for all staff in congregate and state-run facilities.
- In Israel, it is now offering booster shots to all vaccinated people, which includes children aged 12 and older. The World Health Organization has repeatedly called on wealthy nations to hold off on booster shots until poorer countries receive their fair share of vaccines. Meanwhile, less than 10% of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are fully vaccinated, according to one tracker.
- The Australian state of Victoria has extended its lockdown for three more weeks as cases continue to mount. The state’s leader said restrictions will only be eased after 70% of eligible residents receive their first vaccine dose. New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, reported its highest daily rise in cases this week.
- In the Philippines, healthcare workers protested in Manila against government neglect and unpaid benefits. This is Robert Mendoza, president of the Alliance of Health Workers.
- Meanwhile, The European Union said Tuesday it has fully vaccinated 70% of all adults. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urged unvaccinated people to get their shots as soon as possible to avoid a new wave in cases and stop the emergence of new variants.
Despite the EU milestone, vaccination rates remain low, and infections are increasing in poorer, Eastern European nations.