Nearly 94,000 Kids Got COVID-19 Last Week. They Were 15% Of All New Cases

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A child watches as a nurse administers a COVID-19 vaccine during a pop-up vaccination event in April at Lynn Family Stadium in Louisville, Ky. Jon Cherry/Getty Images.

NPR

Coronavirus cases among children are rising at a time when the highly infectious delta variant is advancing across the United States at a rapid clip.

New state-level data analyzed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association shows that children accounted for roughly 15% of all newly reported COVID-19 cases across the nation for the week ending on Aug. 5.

Nearly 94,000 child cases of COVID-19 were recorded during that period, a 31% increase over the roughly 72,000 cases reported a week earlier. In the week before then, there were 39,000 new child cases.

Read report The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association here.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association said that new coronavirus cases in children have been increasing since July after a period of decline in the early summer.

“This virus is really tracking the unvaccinated,” said Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, a professor of pediatrics and infectious diseases at Stanford University. “Because children under 12 are not able to be vaccinated, we’re just seeing the same increase in infections in that group because [the delta variant] is so infectious.”

Parents are searching for answers

One big question for parents — whether delta is making kids sicker than previous strains — still has no clear answer.

But the numbers appear to show that severe illness, hospitalization and death are rare in children infected with the coronavirus.