Sep 30, 2020 - Health

COVID-19 cases on the rise among U.S. children

Illustration of wooden child’s play block with an exclamation point
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

An increasing number of COVID-19 cases among school-aged children across the U.S. throughout September may be linked to school reopenings and other community activities resuming.

Driving the news: The American Academy of Pediatrics reported this week that children of all ages make up 10% of U.S cases, up from 2% in April, per AP. As of Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted more than 435,000 cases among children ages 0–17, and 93 deaths.

What they're saying: The CDC report did not indicate how children contracted the virus, but noted the timing coincides with school reopenings.

  • "Just as cases in college students have been linked to partying and bars, school children may be contracting the virus at playdates, sports and other activities where precautions aren’t being taken," Leana Wen, a public health specialist at George Washington University, said, per AP.
  • Twice as many teens were infected as younger children, the CDC report indicated. The agency acknowledged that may be an underestimate, because children with the coronavirus are tested less frequently given that they're often asymptomatic.

Where it stands: New York City, the nation’s largest school district with 1.1 million students, resumed in-person learning this Tuesday for elementary school children. Middle and high schools in the district are expected to open Thursday, two weeks after the original start date.

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