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CDC urges caution for Labor Day travel

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 6:19 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2021 at 6:21 PM EDT
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(CNN) – This Labor Day weekend, the message from federal health officials is clear as the United States now averages more than 160,000 new COVID cases a day.

“First and foremost, if you were unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Even if you are vaccinated, the CDC says you should wear masks and take COVID risks into consideration before leaving home.

Nationally, more than 101,000 people are hospitalized with the virus.

In Georgia, hospitalizations are up tenfold since the beginning of July.

Idaho’s governor warned his state has only a handful of intensive care unit beds left.

“Where hospitals have converted other spaces to be used as contingency ICU beds, those are filling up too,” said Gov. Brad Little. “Idaho hospitals are beyond constrained.”

The surge in COVID cases continues to rise, now topping 1,300 a day. That’s double the mid-August rate.

Trustees for Social Security and Medicare project mortality rates during the 2020-2023 period will be 15% higher than before the pandemic for those age 15 and up.

There are growing concerns about rising cases among children, who are already being hospitalized with COVID at the highest rate in more than a year, according to CDC data.

“Most are either unvaccinated or under the age of 12 and unable to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Nancy Tofil at Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham. “The numbers have been three or four times what we were seeing last winter at its peak.”

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced measures to help protect children in her state.

“All school staff, anybody who enters that building will have to be vaccinated or undergo mandatory testing,” she said.

More than 3,000 students in one Fort Worth, Texas, school district have been quarantined due to COVID exposure after just two weeks of school.

The district announced a mask mandate last month in defiance of the governor.

In Florida, where the governor has also banned school mask mandates, the Volusia County School Board voted late Tuesday to join a dozen of other counties in implementing mask mandates, meaning it could lose state funding.

“This governor time and time again has shown a complete depraved indifference for human life, especially for our children,” said Nikki Fried, a Democratic candidate in the Florida’s governor’s race. “We’re seeing cases, the largest section of cases in our state last week were those under 12 years old.”

In Vermont, it’s a different story.

The state has vaccinated 75% of eligible children with at least one dose of vaccine.

Vermont is the first state to reach that threshold.

The state has the highest overall vaccination rate in the country and, as a result, has the lowest COVID hospitalization rate.

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