Coronavirus infections among U.S. children grew 40% in the last half of July, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, bringing the total number of child infections to 8.8% of all U.S. cases.
The report, which aggregates data from 49 states, comes amid heated debate over whether schools should re-open in the fall. While the surge of infections contradicts President Donald Trump’s assertion that kids are “virtually immune,” the data also show that child infections make up a disproportionately small share of the overall outbreak in the U.S.
Many parents are eager to get their kids back in classes. Yet COVID-19 is still surging in much of the country, and there is conflicting data about how COVID-19 is transmitted to and from children. Some schools that have already resumed classes have experienced outbreaks amid scenes of kids crowded together without wearing masks, raising fears that a full nationwide re-opening in September will cause a new spike of infection.
The study said 97,078 new child cases were reported from July 16-30, bringing the total number since the pandemic began to 338,982. The range of ages varied from state to state, with some including an age limit as high as 24.
California, Florida and Arizona had the highest number of total child cases in the U.S., with more than 20,000 each, the report found. By population, Arizona had the highest count, with more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 children, more than double the national average of 447.
Deaths among U.S. children from COVID-19 total 86, only 0.06% of total fatalities in the country and 0.03% of infections among children.