Alabama sees surge in virus cases among school-age children

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FILE – In this Aug. 12, 2021 file photo, workers from USA Health test a person for COVID-19 during a drive-up clinic in Mobile, Ala. Health officials say they are seeing a spike in cases among young adults and children as the highly contagious delta variant sweeps through unvaccinated populations. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves, File)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama is seeing a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in school-age children, leading some schools to announce a temporary return to remote learning.

The Alabama Department of Public Health said Thursday that 5,571 children ages 5 to 17 were reported to have contracted COVID-19 last week. That compares to 702 cases in the same period last year.

State Health Officer Scott Harris and Alabama Superintendent Eric Mackey both pointed to the more contagious delta variant as the reason.

Another factor could be many students were doing remote learning last year.

While cases are rising among school-age children, deaths and hospitalizations among youths remain relatively rare.

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