Editor’s Note: Alabama Dept. of Public Health originally reported 9,266 cases in children and teens but it was corrected to 9,266 total cases in both children and adults.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabama Department of Public Health says that hospitalizations of children in Alabama due to COVID-19 are at a record high.

ADPH reports that on Thursday, the state had a total of 9,266 COVID-19 cases in Alabama children and adolescents. That day alone, 71 pediatric patients were admitted to Alabama hospitals with confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 3 pediatric patients in the intensive care unit, including 1 on a ventilator.

Children’s of Alabama alone was caring for 35 children with COVID-19 on Thursday, six more kids than their record of 29, which was hit in Sept. during the wave of the Delta variant.

“In the crisis of higher virus transmission with the Omicron variant, immediate measures are critical,” ADPH District Medical Officer Dr. Wes Stubblefield said. “School-wide masking is at the top of the list of preventive steps that need to be implemented. Masks can still make a difference in school settings and allow students to remain in class if properly used.”

According to the latest school dashboard, there were 16,035 cases of COVID-19 in Alabama schools this past week, while were 2,940 cases reported last week. Some schools have reinstated stricter mask policies or temporarily moved to virtual learning.