COVID-19 cases are surging in kids in the U.S just as students head back to school. But just how bad is it? Let’s connect the dots.
84% increase children coronavirus
A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics found that COVID-19 cases in children were up 84 percent in the last week of July. That means that 72,000 kids tested positive for COVID. They now make up 19 percent of positive cases. And while severe illness in children is still unlikely that doesn’t mean kids are not getting hospitalized.
Pediatric hospitals beds filling
From Tennessee to Texas, health departments are reporting that pediatric hospitals are filling up. Part of the problem is not just the increase in child COVID cases but also another severe respiratory virus, Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV.
Normally a winter worry, RSV is now sweeping through during the summer, sending kids to the hospital. That means pediatric hospitals are seeing their ICUs fill up with both COVID and RSV cases.
School cases, preventative measures
All this is happening as kids head back to school. In Georgia, the largest school system, Gwinnett, went back to school last week.
In the first three days, 253 COVID cases were reported. Masks are mandated on all campuses in Gwinnett. But the head of the CDC says outbreaks found in schools and camps were in places where prevention strategies were not being used.