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(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Delta variant is sending more young coronavirus patients to the hospital. But it’s not clear whether that means it’s more dangerous to them.

One of every 31 Hoosiers hospitalized in the last month for COVID has been under 20. That’s well below other age groups, but it’s double the rate of the previous 16 months.

State health commissioner Kris Box says the Delta variant may be more dangerous, but it’s difficult to disentangle from other factors which drive hospitalizations. She says the increase in serious cases may just reflect the fact Delta is causing more cases, period. And more than 95% of those hospitalized have been unvaccinated. Kids under 12 can’t be vaccinated, and Hoosiers age 12-to-19 have the lowest vaccination rate in the state at 29%, less than half the rate for Hoosiers 55 and up.

Box says the vaccine is the most powerful weapon against COVID, but with so many school-age kids unvaccinated, she’s urging schools to adopt other CDC-recommended precautions, including mask requirements and quarantines for students who are a close contact of someone who tests positive.

In the last week, Indiana schools reported 350 new student cases of coronavirus, along with 29 teachers and 52 non-teaching staff.