At least 97,000 children in the United States tested positive for the coronavirus the last two weeks of July alone, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association. In all, at least 338,000 children have been infected since the pandemic began, meaning more than a quarter have been infected in just those two weeks.
The report comes as parents and education leaders grapple with the challenges of resuming schooling as the virus continues to surge in parts of the country.
More than seven out of 10 infections were from states in the South and West, according to the report, which relied on data from 49 states along with Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam. The count could be higher because the report did not include complete data from Texas and information from parts of New York State outside of New York City.
Missouri, Oklahoma, Alaska, Nevada, Idaho, and Montana were among the states with the highest percent increase of child infections during that period, according to the report.
New York City, New Jersey, and other states in the Northeast, where the virus peaked in March and April, had the lowest percent increase of child infections, according to the report.
In total, 338,982 children have been infected, according to the report.
Massachusetts reported 6,903 overall cases among children, or 0.4 percent of the total child population. Of those, 118 were hospitalized, with no deaths reported.
Not every locality where data was collected categorized children in the same age range. Most places cited in the report considered children to be people no older than 17 or 19. In Alabama, though, the age limit was 24; in Florida and Utah, the age limit was 14.
The report noted that children rarely get severely sick from COVID-19, but another report, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, highlighted how the threat from a new COVID-19-related condition, called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, has disproportionately affected people of color.
The CDC said that from early March through late July, it received reports of 570 young people — ranging from infants to age 20 — who met the definition of the syndrome. Most of those patients were previously healthy, the report said.
About 40 percent were Hispanic or Latino, 33 percent were Black, and 13 percent were white, the report said. Ten died and nearly two-thirds were admitted to intensive care units, it said. Symptoms include a fever, rash, pinkeye, stomach distress, confusion, bluish lips, muscle weakness, and cardiac shock.
New York Times
Ga. school shifting online after infections reporteded
DALLAS, Ga. — A Georgia high school plans to start the week with all classes shifting online after nine students and staff tested positive for the coronavirus when the school year opened last week with most students attending in-person.
North Paulding High School made headlines soon after students returned to school Aug. 3 when photos posted on social media showed hallways crowded with students, and many of them not wearing masks. The school’s principal notified parents Saturday that six students and three staff members had tested positive for the virus, though it’s unknown if any were infected at school.
Now students will take online classes Monday and Tuesday, said Paulding County Schools Superintendent Brian Ott in a letter to parents Sunday. He said those two days will be used to clean and disinfect the school, and parents will learn Tuesday evening if in-person classes can resume later in the week.
Ohio governor defends new, rapid testing methods
Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio, who last week tested positive for the coronavirus, then negative and then negative again, said on CNN on Sunday that his roller-coaster ride should not be reason for people to think “that testing is not reliable or doesn’t work.”
His first test result was a positive, when he was screened with a rapid testing method Thursday before President Trump arrived in Ohio for campaign appearances.
The Republican governor was given an antigen test made by Quidel, one of two companies that have received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for virus antigen tests.
These tests, while fast and convenient, are known to be less accurate than PCR tests, which were used to retest DeWine twice Thursday and once more Saturday. All three PCR tests turned up negative, confirming that DeWine was not infected with the virus.
New York Times
NY governor calls Trump benefits order ‘laughable’
NEW YORK — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday dismissed President Trump’s executive orders as “laughable’’ and another chapter in the federal government’s botched response to the coronavirus as he praised New Yorkers for mostly good behavior that has reduced the infection rate in his state.
The Democrat was particularly critical of Trump’s Saturday announcement that states must pay part of $400 weekly unemployment insurance benefits. He told a telephone news conference that Trump’s plan was likely to cost New York state $4 billion.
“The concept of saying to states, you pay 25 percent of the insurance, is just laughable,’’ Cuomo said. “It’s just an impossibility. So none of this is real on the federal side. This is going to have to be resolved.’’
Meanwhile, Cuomo praised New Yorkers for driving down the rate of infections.
No parties, no trips: Colleges set COVID-19 rules for fall
As they struggle to salvage some semblance of a campus experience this fall, US colleges are requiring promises from students to help contain the coronavirus — no keg parties, no long road trips, and no outside guests on campus.
No kidding. Administrators warn that failure to wear masks, practice social distancing, and avoid mass gatherings could bring serious consequences, including getting booted from school.
Critics question whether it’s realistic to demand that college students not act like typical college students. But the push illustrates the high stakes for universities planning to welcome at least some students back. Wide-scale COVID-19 testing, quarantines, and plexiglass barriers in classrooms won’t work if too many students misbehave.
“I think that the majority of students are going to be really respectful and wear their masks, social distance, keep gatherings small,” said Tulane University senior Sanjali De Silva. “But I fear that there will be a distinct group of students that will decide not to do that. And it’ll be a big bummer.”
Tulane students have already received a stark warning from the school in New Orleans.
Many other universities have spelled out expectations for student behavior in pledges and compacts that cover everything from mask wearing to off-campus travel.