Sep 9, 2020 - Health

Over 513,000 U.S. teens, children have been diagnosed with COVID-19

Illustration of a child in a medical mask under a magnifying glass surrounded by circles of different colors

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

513,415 children and teens in the U.S. have tested positive for the coronavirus from the time the pandemic arrived in the country through Sept. 3, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Association.

By the numbers: 70,630 new cases in minors were reported between Aug. 20 and Sept. 3 — a 16% increase over a two-week period. Children and teens represented 9.8% of all reported cases in the country as of Sept. 3.

What they're saying: “These numbers are a chilling reminder of why we need to take this virus seriously,” said AAP President Sara Goza in a statement. 

  • “While much remains unknown about COVID-19, we do know that the spread among children reflects what is happening in the broader communities. A disproportionate number of cases are reported in Black and Hispanic children and in places where there is high poverty. We must work harder to address societal inequities that contribute to these disparities,” she said.

The big picture: Surges in southern, western and Midwestern states over the summer account for a portion of total cases.

  • “This rapid rise in positive cases occurred over the summer, and as the weather cools, we know people will spend more time indoors,” said Sean O’Leary, vice chair of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases. "The goal is to get children back into schools for in-person learning, but in many communities, this is not possible as the virus spreads unchecked."

Go deeper: Coronavirus tests for kids are limited

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