COVID-19 in children: Latest weekly increase is largest yet


The United States set a new weekly high for COVID-19 cases in children, surpassing 200,000 for the first time since the pandemic began, 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 211,466 new cases reported in children during the week of Jan. 8-14, topping the previous high (Dec. 11-17) by almost 30,000. Those new cases bring the total for the pandemic to over 2.5 million children infected with the coronavirus, which represents 12.6% of all reported cases, the AAP and the CHA said Jan. 19 in their weekly COVID-19 report.

The rise in cases also brought an increase in the proportion reported among children. The week before (Jan. 1-7), cases in children were 12.9% of all cases reported, but the most recent week saw that number rise to 14.5% of all cases, the highest it’s been since early October, based on data collected from the health department websites of 49 states (excluding New York), the District of Columbia, New York City, Puerto Rio, and Guam.

The corresponding figures for severe illness continue to be low: Children represent 1.8% of all hospitalizations from COVID-19 in 24 states and New York City and 0.06% of all deaths in 43 states and New York City. Three deaths were reported for the week of Jan. 8-14, making for a total of 191 since the pandemic started, the AAP and CHA said in their report.

Among the states, California has the most overall cases at just over 350,000, Wyoming has the highest proportion of cases in children (20.3%), and North Dakota has the highest rate of infection (over 8,100 per 100,000 children). The infection rate for the nation is now above 3,300 per 100,000 children, and 11 states reported rates over 5,000, according to the AAP and the CHA.

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