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As schools reopen, over 74,000 kids tested positive for COVID-19 in two weeks

Published Aug 27th, 2020 12:06PM EDT
Coronavirus child cases
Image: digitalskillet1/Adobe

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  • The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association report that 74,160 children in the US tested positive for COVID-19 in two weeks of August.
  • 74,160 cases represent a 21% increase in child infections overall since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
  • Schools continue to reopen and have students and teachers in classes despite the worrying signs.

One of the first things that we were told in regards to the novel coronavirus is that children are less likely to catch or spread the virus than adults. That may be true, but children clearly aren’t immune from SARS-CoV-2, as a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that 74,160 US children tested positive for the virus from August 6th to August 20th. That’s a 21% increase in the total number of reported cases in children in the United States since the pandemic began back in March, and it only took two weeks this month to get there.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association have teamed up to “collect and share all publicly available data from states on child COVID-19 cases,” and have released a new report every week this month. Based on their findings, 442,785 kids have tested positive for COVID-19 in the US so far.

The 442,785 children that have caught the coronavirus represent just 9.3% of the total cases in the US to date, which does seem to support the idea that younger individuals are far less likely to be infected. Plus, as the two groups point out, “it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare among children.” The two pediatric groups want states to “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.”

According to the August 20th report, 154,279 Americans have died from COVID-19. 92 of those were children, which represents just 0.06% of the US death toll. Of course, the statistics are meaningless to parents that lost a child, or the parents of the 4,062 children that have been hospitalized with COVID-19.

Despite these troubling reports, schools across the country have been reopening this month, which probably has something to do with the current infection rate spike among children. Just yesterday, we wrote about how 8,995 kids had tested positive for COVID-19 since August 9th, which just so happens to be around the time that schools started welcoming students back to class. Meanwhile, colleges allowing students to come back to campus are having similar issues, from the 566 students and staff members that have been infected at the University of Alabama just days after school started to the hundreds of students that tested positive at the University of Notre Dame.

Children may not be at nearly as much risk from the novel coronavirus as adults are, but thousands have already had to go to the hospital due to their symptoms, and before long, 100 will have died.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.