On heels of school re-openings, COVID-19 cases in children up

Nationwide, a 90% increase in last four weeks
Posted at 6:34 PM, Aug 12, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. — On the heels of school re-openings all across the metro, the American Academy of Pediatrics along with the Children's Hospital Association released jarring new numbers when it comes to children COVID-19 cases. In the last four weeks there's been a 90 percent increase in child cases nationwide and Nebraska has a higher percentage of kids with COVID-19 than the national average.

The data comes from a weekly report of numbers being reported across numerous states. From July 9 to August 6, there were nearly 180,000 new child COVID-19 cases nationwide. That brings the total to over 380,000 since the start of the pandemic.

"In Nebraska, our rates are slightly higher than the U.S. in terms of number of pediatric infections," said Dr. Melissa St. Germain, pediatrician and the president of the Nebraska Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

DIGITAL EXTRA: Hear more from Dr. St. Germain about pediatric COVID infections

DIGITAL EXTRA: Dr. Melissa St. Germain

Nationwide about nine percent of COVID-19 infections are in kids under 19-years-old. In Nebraska that number is 12 percent and in Douglas County 13 percent, four percent higher than the national average.

"The 15 to 19-year-olds are where we've seen that really big increase," Dr. St. Germain said.

Dr. St. Germain also says that the cause of the increase could be related to more testing being done and also summer activities.

"I think people have left the house more and especially summer vacation has accounted for some of that, more people were traveling and being exposed to different groups of people," she said.

Children are not immune to the virus and can spread it - teenagers more than younger kids.

As students get back to school, it's important to remember safety protocols to keep numbers down.

"I think the best things that we can do is keep wearing our masks, follow the protocols that the schools have put in place to help prevent the spread," Dr. St. Germain said.

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