CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Mask mandates are making a comeback across several counties where COVID-19 cases are surging. Frontline workers say it’s leading to more hospitalizations, especially in children.

From having little to no patients in July, hospitals across the Capital Region say they are seeing double.

“All of the hospitals got down to single digits and some had zero patients. Now we all have a fairly significant number of patients in the hospital,” said Dr. Fred Venditti.

Albany Medical Center Executive Vice President and Hospital Director Dr. Fred Venditti is hoping to avoid high hospitalization rates like they had in winter of 2020.

Dr. Venditti says, on Monday, they had 17 people hospitalized for the virus and with only two of them being vaccinated.

“We are moving in the wrong direction from a hospitalization perspective,” he said.

Warren County Director of Public Affairs Don Lehman says it’s concerning to see the number of children under the age of 12 being hospitalized with the Delta variant.

“It is hitting kids a lot harder than the prior variants. We also have one child who is in the ICU right now. They were too young to be vaccinated,” said Lehman.

Eight kids under the age of 12 have now been admitted to Albany Med. Dr. Venditti says they were all discharged after a 1-3 day stay.

“It’s a fairly significant percentage of the patients that haven been hospitalized, so that is a concern to us,” said Dr. Venditti.

The vaccine manufacturer Pfizer says they are expecting to apply for the FDA authorization to administer the vaccine to children ages 5 to 11 in September.

“The vaccine absolutely works. It’s going to protect you, your family, friends and the community,” said Dr. Venditti.