Children's of Birmingham, a nonprofit hospital dedicated to only treating kids and young adults, released a harrowing report Thursday outlining its current COVID-19 inpatient numbers.

The hospital explained in a news release that there has been a "significant increase" in cases over the past few weeks. There are currently 22 inpatients being treated at Children's, including five kids who are on ventilators.

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"For comparison, 13 was our highest COVID census in January 2021 at the height of the last surge," the release stated.

The highly-contagious COVID-19 delta variant, which has surprisingly taken to young people more than strains from a year ago, is the primary blame for the uptick. Children's says that the "threat to Alabamians is serious," and since children under 12 years old cannot get vaccinated, it is up to their community to protect them.

"Children’s strongly encourages the community to help us protect the most vulnerable in our state by taking all three of these precautions and by following current CDC COVID recommendations, including washing your hands, using hand sanitizer and staying home if you are sick," the release stated.

The hospital offers three of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the coronavirus: get vaccinated if you are 12 years old or older, wear masks regardless of vaccination status, and distance yourself socially whenever possible.

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