AUSTIN, Texas — Texas schools are mixed when it comes to returning to the classroom due to the COVID surge. Lancaster ISD in North Texas decided to move to virtual learning this week, citing the surge in infections driven by the omicron variant and limited hospital beds across the region. They are offering vaccinations at the school.

But others, including Dallas ISD returned to in-person.

"We will take this on a school-by-school, case-by-case method and if we have to shut down because it's so bad, we will. But we're not going to do it districtwide and we're not going to do it unless there's overwhelming evidence that that's the only choice we have," said Dr. Michael Hinojosa, Dallas ISD superintendent.

Doctors are advising districts to keep mask mandates in place amid the surge as more kids are hospitalized.

“I think right now is not the time to end mask mandates and for those school districts who let them fall by the wayside, to go ahead and pick them back up,” said Dr. Mark Casanova, a member of the Texas Medical Association’s COVID-19 Task Force. “Many of our youngest children have not been vaccinated or are not eligible to be vaccinated depending on the age cutoff. So it’s really important we do everything we can do protect those kiddos as well as the teachers and staff at schools, and the most effective way to do that short of vaccines is masking in schools.”

There is growing concern from some experts that while the omicron variant may be milder for adults, it could pose a greater risk to children. Monday, the FDA expanded its emergency use authorization allowing Pfizer boosters for everyone 12 and older. The wait time between Pfizer’s second shot and a booster also was shortened to five months.

Click the video link above to watch our full interview with Dr. Casanova.