Pediatric cases of COVID-19 increased by 21 percent between Aug. 6-20

By Julie Mazziotta
August 26, 2020 02:09 PM
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More than 74,000 children have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks, an increase of 21 percent since Aug. 6, according to a new report.

Between Aug. 6 and Aug. 20, there were 74,160 new cases of COVID-19 in children across the U.S., for a total of 442,785 cases since the start of the pandemic, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association reported.

The two groups added, though, that “severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare among children,” and research has shown that they are more likely to be asymptomatic.

“However,” they added, “states should continue to provide detailed reports on COVID-19 cases, testing, hospitalizations, and mortality by age so that the effects of COVID-19 on children’s health can be documented and monitored.”

And while kids are more likely to be asymptomatic, the Centers for Disease Control said earlier this month that they can spread the virus as easily as adults.

"Recent evidence suggests that children likely have the same or higher viral loads in their nasopharynx compared with adults and that children can spread the virus effectively in households and camp settings," they said in an Aug. 14 report.

The rise in pediatric cases comes as several states returned to school, some with distancing measures and others without.

In Georgia, where Gov. Brian Kemp has not required citizens to wear masks in shared spaces, hundreds of students, teachers and staff have been exposed to COVID-19 and told to quarantine, and at least three schools have shut down after a rise in cases.

And in Mississippi, at least 144 teachers and 292 students have tested positive for COVID-19 over the last week, CNN reported. Nearly 4,000 students and 600 teachers are currently quarantining. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said that the rise in cases was not a concern.

"These numbers that we're seeing in our schools are not unexpected," Reeves said during a news conference on Tuesday, according to CNN. "I am pleased the number of isolations that we're seeing, the quarantines that we're seeing. And I'm pleased that there are a large number of Mississippi kids that are sitting in a classroom right now learning in a safe environment and so we got to continue to monitor it, we've got to continue to be careful.”

As of Wednesday, more than 5,803,700 people in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 178,779 Americans have died, according to The New York Times.

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