Latest rise in child COVID-19 cases is relatively small


For the seventh week out of the last eight, more new cases of COVID-19 in children were reported in the United States than any week before, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

Number of weekly COVID-19 cases in children, United States

There were just over 182,000 new cases of COVID-19 in children during the week ending Dec. 17, topping the previous high of almost 179,000 set the previous week. That difference of about 3,000 cases, however, is the smallest weekly increase since Oct. 1 – a stretch of 11 weeks that has produced only one decline, based on data from the latest AAP/CHA weekly report.

As of Dec. 17, there had been over 1.8 million cases of COVID-19 in children, which represents 12.3% of all U.S. cases. For the week, 14% of all cases occurred in children, which was up slightly from 13.8% the week before (Dec. 10). The overall rate of coronavirus infection is now 2,420 cases per 100,000 children in the population, the AAP and CHA said.

A total of 30 states are above that national rate, with North Dakota the highest at 7,515 cases per 100,000 children, followed by South Dakota (5,618), Wyoming (5,157), Wisconsin (5,106), and Tennessee (4,994). Wyoming has the highest proportion of cases occurring in children at 20.8%, but that is down from 23.4% in mid-November, based on data collected by the AAP and CHA from the health department websites of 49 states (New York does not provide age distributions), the District of Columbia, New York City, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

In the last 2 weeks, however, the largest percent increases in new cases came in states with low-to-average rates of cumulative child infection. California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, and Vermont all saw increases of over 35% from Dec. 3 to Dec. 17, while the smallest increases occurred in Hawaii, North Dakota, and Wyoming, the AAP and CHA reported.

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