SALT LAKE CITY — More kids are testing positive for COVID-19 and more are being hospitalized for COVID-19 in Utah.
Our partners at the St. George News report there are indications of rising infections in children between the ages of 5 and 15 in southern Utah.
The state health department started reporting new cases in school age children last Friday.
Since then, the number of new daily school-age children with the virus has gone from 216 a week ago to 358 yesterday, and there are now a dozen children hospitalized with COVID statewide.
One year ago, that number was zero.
It's a problem nationally, too.
"They are breathing very very fast and very hard. They're needing help from us breathing. Needing oxygen. Needing support for their breathing, or are so extremely dehydrated that they are needing IV fluids," says Dr. Alicia Webb at Children's Hospital of Alabama.
Alabama has seen a 700% increase in COVID cases among school age children compared to this time last year, according to state health officials.
All Utah school districts, with the exception of Box Elder, have started classes but only the Salt Lake City school district and the Grand County school district require masks in schools.
With more children contracting the virus, some doctors fear parents may seek "off-label" use of COVID vaccines for kids under 12.
The Biden administration says it expects children under 12 to become vaccine-eligible later this year.