TEMPLE, Texas — Children sick with COVID are filling up hospitals nationwide, including in Central Texas.
Baylor Scott & White McLane Children's is seeing a steady climb in hospitalizations among kids. On Tuesday they reached an all time high.
"Lots more kids coming in feeling terrible having COVID. Lots more than we ever saw with the prior novel COVID-19 variant," Dominic Lucia said, the Chief Medical Officer.
As of Tuesday, 20% of their beds are being used by children sick with COVID.
"Last year all through the pandemic in 2020 we really stayed between 1% and 5%. When I talked to folks a couple weeks ago we were between 10% and 15% and we've seen about two weeks into the school year how that's increased," Dr. Lucia said.
The Delta variant is affecting children in a more severe way than COVID has in the past.
"It's a little unnerving. We didn't have to experience this or deal with this portion of the pandemic last year," Dr. Lucia said.
Local school districts are also seeing the rise in their classrooms not only with students but teachers as well.
"There was an upswing as far as the number of cases," Jill Bottelberghe, the assistant superintendent of human resources at Connally ISD, said.
The district closed all campuses for the week after many people tested positive for COVID and two teachers died just two weeks into the school year.
"It's very disheartening," Bottelberghe said. "I just want to caution everybody you know and be vigilant as far as in the sanitizing, keep up with some of those same protocols that we may be have let go over the last couple of months."
Dr. Lucia said another big problem is that as a society we are doing less than before to prevent the spread of this disease.
"It's time to really re look at this, know that delta variant is different, know that we want to keep our kids and communities safe and we can use these tools to do that and get through this together," Dr. Lucia said.