President Biden set to announce new plan to combat COVID delta variant spread

Nearly 3,500 people remain hospitalized in North Texas with COVID-19, and there are still only a few pediatric ICU beds available.

The surge from the delta variant is leading President Joe Biden to announce a new push to put pressure on businesses and schools to adopt stricter vaccine requirements and testing policies, although details are still slim.

The president on Thursday is going to announce new ways to curb COVID spread, including a possible way to further mandate the vaccine. 

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President Joe Biden discusses the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Today, we're closer than ever to declaring our independence from a deadly virus," Biden said on July Fourth.

But a lot has changed since President Biden made that declaration a little over two months ago.

Since the CDC just days after that presidential speech updated its guidance to say masks are no longer a requirement for vaccinated students and teachers in the classroom. The CDC’s guidance on that changed before the end of July.

Now, in the last week alone, nearly 252,000 children in the U.S. tested positive for COVID-19, marking the largest increase in pediatric cases in a week since the pandemic began.

"We've been at war with the delta variant over the last few months," said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

President Biden will roll out a new six-point plan to fight the delta variant COVID spread as the CDC reports 176 million Americans have been fully vaccinated so far.

While the federal government cannot issue a blanket vaccination mandate, Psaki hinted at the president using other ways to mandate the vaccine in the public and private sector but would not release details.

"Some of that will be related to access to testing," she said. "Some will be related to mandates. Some will be related to how we ensure kids are protected in schools."

The announcement comes on the heels of the detection of the mu variant in Texas and five cases in Dallas County.

Hospitalizations in Texas and across the country are high.

North Texas hospitals are consistently providing daily reports of around 3,500 COVID patients.

Dallas County Health Director Dr. Philip Huang and all health experts continue to repeat what we've heard countless times.

"Getting them vaccinated is the best thing we can do to slow this spread and prevent these variants from becoming a bigger problem," he said.

READ MORE: COVID-19 mu variant found in Dallas County