The new one-percenters: Children with COVID-19


The United States just passed a dubious COVID-19 milestone: Just over 1% of all children have been infected by the coronavirus this year, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

Proportion of COVID-19 cases that occurred in children

There have been 1,052 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 children as of Oct. 22, and that works out to 1.05% of all children in the country. The cumulative number of pediatric cases is 792,188, and children now represent 11% of all COVID-19 cases, the AAP and the CHA reported Oct. 26.

There were just over 50,000 new child cases reported in the week ending Oct. 22, which was 13.6% of the national total of almost 370,000. That’s up slightly from the 13.3% the previous week but still down from the spike seen in mid-September, based on the data collected from the websites of 49 state health departments (New York does not report ages), along with the District of Columbia, New York City, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

The state-level data show that California has had more COVID-19 cases in children (92,864) than any other state, although Texas has reported ages for only 7% of its confirmed cases. Illinois is next with 46,006 cases, followed by Florida at 45,575, although Florida is using an age range of 0-14 years to define a child case, the AAP and CHA noted.

Other measures largely put small states at the extremes:

  • North Dakota has the highest cumulative rate: 2,954 cases per 100,000 children.
  • Vermont has the lowest cumulative rate: 190.5 per 100,000.
  • Wyoming has the highest proportion of cases in children: 27.7%.
  • New Jersey has the lowest proportion of child cases: 4.6%.

There were no COVID-19–related deaths in children reported the week ending Oct. 22, so the total number remains at 120, which is just 0.06% of the total for all ages, based on data from 42 states and New York City. Hospitalization figures put admissions at almost 5,600 in children, or 1.7% of all hospitalizations, although those data come from just 24 states and New York City, the AAP and CHA said.

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