Nearly 100,000 children in the United States contracted COVID-19 in the last two weeks of July, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Children’s Hospital Association.
The new report signifies a 40 percent increase in cases among children.
Since the onset of the pandemic there have been 338,982 total pediatric COVID-19 cases reported, which represents 8.8% of all reported COVID-19 cases.
Despite the drastic increase in cases, AAP found that hospitalizations and deaths in children remain “uncommon.” Children made up less than 1 percent of all COVID-19 deaths.
Dr. Ashish Jha of the Harvard Global Health Institute stated in an interview with Good Morning America that “Those numbers are a reminder that children are not immune from this disease.”
Schools are just now starting to reopen, whether that be online or in person, so the numbers in the AAP report do not reflect transmissions that could happen in schools.
For example, a school in Georgia–which recently made headlines when pictures surfaced showing a lack of COVID-19 precautions like social distancing or mask wearing–has been forced to go to remote-only learning after just over a week of classes because six students and three staff members have already tested positive for COVID-19.
So far it appears students are less likely to transmit the virus.
“Kids transmit less; not zero, but less,” Jha said. He went on to say that, along with other important developmental factors, makes him believe school districts should be focusing on getting K-5 students in classrooms with proper safety precautions in place.