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Data: American Academy of Pediatrics; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios; Note: Case data reported by 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Hospitalization data reported by 23 states and New York City. Gaps in chart indicate weeks where no data was reported.

The return to school across the U.S. coincided with surges in cases among kids, causing enough hospitalizations for children's hospitals to warn of capacity concerns.

By the numbers: There were roughly 204,000 child COVID-19 cases reported last week, according to the latest data from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  • That was a 9% increase in pediatric cases, compared to the week before.

Zoom out: Tens of thousands of U.S. students have had to quarantine due to COVID this school year. Most recently, a South Carolina district reportedly had 9,000 students in quarantine.

  • A school district in Texas announced plans to close until after Labor Day after two teachers died of COVID-19.

Driving the news: Pediatric hospitals called for federal help for their "capacity crisis" in a letter to President Biden, NPR reported.

  • "With pediatric volumes at or near capacity and the upcoming school season expected to increase demand, there may not be sufficient bed capacity," the Children's Hospital Association said in the letter.

Go deeper: NIH to study long COVID in kids

Go deeper

Nov 26, 2021 - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID-19 strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.

Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Omicron variant lifts Moderna's stock price — CDC strengthens COVID booster recommendation.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: Federal court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for health workers in 10 states — NYC urges masks indoors "at all times" regardless of vaccination status — New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Biden: Fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Monday said that the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, is "a cause for concern, not a cause for panic."

Driving the news: Biden said later this week the administration will be releasing a strategy on how "we're going to fight COVID this winter. Not with shutdowns or lockdowns, but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more."