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US COVID-19 Cases in Children Increased by 100,000 in Two Weeks

AUG 10, 2020 | KEVIN KUNZMANN
children COVID-19The rate of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) cases among children in the US raised by 40% in the last 2 weeks of July, according to a new data report.

In a joint report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA), a collection of state-level reports from the best publicly available data from 49 states, New York City, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and Guam, showed 97,078 new child cases of COVID-19 were reported from July 16-30.

The jump in new pediatric cases brings the US total to nearly 339,000, or an overall rate of 447 per 100,000 children, according to the report. State-level populations for children were estimated with data from the US Census Bureau.

California, Florida, and Arizona currently contribute more than 85,000, or 25%, of all pediatric cases, according to the report.

The lone abstention of statewide pediatric COVID-19 data was New York, which only offers reported age distribution of cases in New York City. Despite being the best publicly available data for pediatric COVID-19 cases, state-level data comes with limitations, including that the definition of a child varies anywhere from ages 0-14 to 0-24 years.

That said, the newest data showed children currently represent 8.8% of all US cases, and that 6 states have already surpassed 15,000 total pediatric cases.

Pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations—per 20 states and New York City, which offer such data—were just 0.6% to 3.7% of total reported cases, and between 0.6% and 8.9% of all cases in children alone. Mortality, among 44 reporting states and New York City, remained low: the greatest rate was 0.8% of infected children, and 20 states reported no child deaths at the time of the report.

The AAP-CHA joint report has been ongoing since mid-April of this year, when it first collected pediatric-level data from 46 states, New York City, and Washington, DC. In that time, cumulative COVID-19 child cases have increased by 35-fold.

Cases per 100,000 children have also risen from 13.3 on April 16, to 446.5 on July 30. In the difference of just the last month—from June 25 to July 30—the rate of COVID-19 cases in children has risen 2.5-fold.

Just last week, data published in the journal Pediatrics showed pediatric COVID-19 incidence was spiked among American black and Hispanic children compared to white children: about 30% and 46% versus just 7% positive rates, respectively. The findings align with similar inequities in COVID-19 positivity and severity observed among US adults.

The alarming AAP-CHP data also comes in the same week as reports from most major US cities stating they will begin the 2020-21 school year in a remote, virtual capacity.

Some regions—most notably, New York City—have expressed intention to reopen schools to start the year. According to report, the city had more than 6600 pediatric COVID-19 cases as of July 30.
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