A new report shows that more than 97,000 children in United States have tested positive for coronavirus in just the last two weeks of July. The report was published by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.
In the ending two weeks of last month, there was a 40 percent increase in coronavirus cases in children, in all the states and cities that were under studied. All these children had varying ages with the most children near the age of 14. However, in Alabama the ages went even up to 24 years old.
The U.S. has topped more than 5 million cases and a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics found that nearly 100,000 of 339,000 cases in children were in the last two weeks of July. @SteveOsunsami reports. https://t.co/cWeWYT1hSB pic.twitter.com/aq0A6LX9Ud
— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 10, 2020
— AAP News (@AAPNews) August 7, 2020
The report comes at a crucial time, when almost all states are looking to reopen schools. Many scientists and health officials are looking to understand the effects of the virus on children and the role young people play in its spread, so the schools can open safely.
Many of the schools have already opened and huge crowds are flocking to these schools, while other are readjusting their reopening because of coronavirus infections.
— GOP (@GOP) July 24, 2020
Just the previous week, a Georgia high school made headlines when the pictures of crowded hallways went viral, and no one was seen practicing safe distancing guidelines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that everyone should keep at least 6 meters of distance amongst themselves in crowds.
The Georgia high school eventually reported nine cases of coronavirus, of which six were students and three were staff members. This is according to a letter from the said high school’s principal.
In response the school has now decided to switch to virtual learning for the time being. The letter added that the school will offer digital learning just this Monday and Tuesday. In the Tuesday evening, parents will be informed of whether remote instruction will continue or if students can return to school.
In the meantime, the school will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. The school will also work with the Georgia Department of Public Health to identify anyone else who had close contact with the confirmed patients and have yet to be identified.
The Georgia student who posted a now-viral photo of the crowded hallways of her high school during #COVID19 has been suspended for doing so.
That's OK, she said. The world needed to know the danger.
"This is some good and necessary trouble," she said.https://t.co/Oi6OSYfyqy
— David Beard (@dabeard) August 7, 2020
UPDATE: Georgia high school that went viral for photos of crowded hallways will go online-only Monday and Tuesday after six students and three staff members tested positive for the coronavirus https://t.co/najJAlXwJg
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) August 9, 2020
Many US lawmakers and the President Donald Trump have said previously that the coronavirus is not dangerous for children and they can safely return to schools. However, many studies disagree with these statements.
In one study it was shown that older children can transmit the virus just as much as adults. Another study found that children younger than 5 carry a higher viral load than adults. Other findings suggest that adult staff members are likely to be at increased risk of virus transmission in crowded places like schools and suffering from adverse health outcomes.
The new report showed that at least 86 children have died since May, due to coronavirus. Even a 7-year-old child last week died of the virus in Georgia and even had no underlying health issues.
New York All Set to Open Schools ‘Safely’
New York State is ready to open doors of their schools after being the center of the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world four months ago. Governor Andrew Cuomo has given permission to open schools in the state.
He announced Friday that public schools across the state would hold in-person classes this fall. Many health experts have said that it would be safe to reopen schools as long as safety precautions are in place. Many public health officials have said that actually keeping children in their homes is more worrisome.
Data has shown that pandemic can seriously affect home bound children in a negative way. Children are at risk of serious mental health issues, isolation, food insecurity, and even physical abuse.
BREAKING: New York governor says he’ll allow children to return to classrooms statewide, citing success battling pandemic. https://t.co/snCmIbJMNJ
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 7, 2020
— New York Post (@nypost) August 5, 2020
New York has also reported that fewer than 1 percent of coronavirus tests statewide were positive on Wednesday, well below the 5 percent positivity threshold that both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have targeted as a safe standard for reopening schools.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has said schools in the city would not open if the metric rises above 3 percent, this is in line with Harvard’s Global Health Institute report that recommended opening schools only when the daily infection rate is less than 3 percent.
An infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, Dr. William Schaffner, has said that odds of success are good, if schools are reopened.