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US children see 90% increase in COVID-19 cases as schools begin to reopen; experts warn of September spike

US children see 90% increase in COVID-19 cases as schools begin to reopen; experts warn of September spike
Posted at 7:28 AM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 13:13:29-04

With more than 5 million COVID-19 cases in the United States, the one group that has seen a noticeable rise in infections is children.

Over the past four weeks, there has been a 90% spike in known COVID-19 cases among children in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association.

"While children represented only 9.1% of all cases in states reporting cases by age, over 380,000 children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic," the association wrote in a report.

Although, we're seeing more American kids being diagnosed with COVID-19, the mortality rate remains relatively low compared to adults. The association says children represented 0% to 0.4% of all COVID-19 deaths, and 19 states reported zero child deaths. In states reporting, 0% to 0.5% of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in death.

Public health officials have warned about opening schools in states with COVID-19 hot-spots. Medical experts say having youth in crowded hallways and classrooms poses a significant threat.

There are currently 800 students in Georgia's Cherokee County that are in quarantine due to possible coronavirus exposure. This is just one week after in-person learning began.

Some health experts like Michael Osterholm, a director at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, are concerned another big spike in cases is on the way.

"We think we're going to see an explosion of cases in September that will far surpass what we saw after Memorial Day and this is just going to continue increasing, getting higher and higher in terms of numbers," said Osterholm.

Researchers say an effective testing strategy would help communities properly determine if and when to reopen schools for in-person teaching.

This story was originally published by Julia Varnier at WTKR.