COVID-19 in children: Weekly cases trending downward


The United States added over 171,000 new COVID-19 cases in children during the week ending Jan. 7, but that figure is lower than 3 of the previous 4 weeks, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

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

Despite an increase compared with the week ending Dec. 31, the most recent weekly total is down from the high of 182,000 cases reported for the week ending Dec. 17, based on data collected from the health department websites of 49 states (excluding New York), the District of Columbia, New York City, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

Those jurisdictions have recorded a total of almost 2.3 million COVID-19 cases in children since the beginning of the pandemic, which amounts to 12.5% of reported cases among all ages. The 171,000 child cases for the most recent week represented 12.9% of the more than 1.3 million cases nationwide, the AAP and CHA said in their latest weekly update.

The United States now has a rate of 3,055 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 children in the population, the report shows, with 31 states above that figure and 14 states reporting rates above 4,500 per 100,000 children.

Severe illness, however, continues to be rare among children. So far, children represent 1.8% of all hospitalizations in the jurisdictions reporting such data (24 states and New York City), and just 0.9% of infected children have been hospitalized. There have been 188 deaths among children in 42 states and New York City, which makes up just 0.06% of the total for all ages in those jurisdictions, the AAP and CHA reported.

There are 13 states that have reported no coronavirus-related deaths in children, while Texas (34), New York City (21), Arizona (17), and Illinois (11) are the only jurisdictions with 10 or more. Nevada has the highest proportion of child deaths to all deaths at 0.2%, with Arizona and Nebraska next at 0.18%, according to the AAP/CHA report.

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