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article imageClose to 100,000 children in U.S. tested positive for COVID-19

By Karen Graham     Aug 10, 2020 in Health
At least 97,000 children in the United States tested positive for the novel coronavirus during the final two weeks of July, a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association found.
The joint report released by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, said that in the last two weeks in July, there was a 40 percent increase in child coronavirus cases across 49 states, including Puerto Rico, Guam, and Wasginghton D.C.
The numbers of positive cases may actually be higher because Texas only provided age distribution for a small proportion of cases, reports The Hill.
The definition of "school-aged" children was also noted to be different, depending on which state was providing data, Some states defined school-age children as only those up to age 14 and one state - Alabama - pushed the age limit to 24.
The mortality rate remains low for children, the researchers noted. In states reporting data, between zero and 0.3 percent of child COVID-19 cases resulted in death.
The back-to-school season
The report comes out at a time when health experts and lawmakers are grappling with the question of whether to reopen schools, which were closed in the spring when the coronavirus first began spreading throughout the country.
Many school districts have opted to reopen, while some are operating using at-home virtual learning. A number of school districts are using a hybrid form of learning that has students come in a few days a week to prevent crowding, reports the Washington Post.
While President Donald Trump and a number of state Governors have said the virus doesn't pose a large risk to children, one recent study suggests older children can transmit the virus just as much as adults.
Another study, published in July in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, found that children younger than 5 have between 10 and 100 times more genetic material from the novel coronavirus in their noses compared to older children and to adults.
And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidance in July saying that children are less likely to experience severe symptoms from the disease. Part of the CDC's guidance also says that schools should reopen to at least some extent unless community transmission is high or uncontrolled.
So looking at all the data and considering all the studies that have been done, it is easy to see why so many school districts are concerned about the safety of allowing children to return to the classroom.
Here's what we do know
At least 86 children have died from the coronavirus since May, according to the new report.
Black and Hispanic children are impacted more severely with higher rates of infections, hospitalizations and coronavirus-related complications, recently published research from the CDC shows.
The scientific community has yet to determine the exact relationship between seasonal change and the spread of COVID-19 in different parts of the world. After all, we have only known about this new virus less than one year. There is so much more we need to learn.
COVID-19 is constantly mutating, and appears to be increasingly infectious, and may cause a painful swelling dubbed “COVID toe,” for example.
And finally, don't forget all the things about this new virus we don't know. Scientists are learning something new about it almost every day, and the number of studies rushed into publication can back this fact up.
As for reopening schools, The Hill is reporting, "concerns have persisted about how schools can properly adhere to health guidance."
More about coronavirus, 'children, tested positive, reopening schools, CDC
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