ORLANDO, Fla. — Many students have now wrapped up the end of their third week back in the classroom doing face-to-face learning.
The numbers for new cases in school-aged children show that while the number of cases is going up, the positivity rate is going down.
“Nearly every day, I see firsthand how COVID-19 inflicts pain and suffering and devastates families,” said internal medicine specialist Dr. Ankush Bansal.
Bansal and several others said we should all be paying close attention to the increase in COVID-19 cases among our school-age children. They said the numbers are already starting to skyrocket.
“It turns out, particularly young people often have very little in the way of symptoms,” said infectious disease specialist Dr. Frederick Southwick. “No symptoms. They think they’re fine. So, they’ll come into school thinking they’re fine.”
The last several pediatric reports from the state Department of Health shows just how much things have changed since face-to-face learning started.
For ages 5 to 10 years old, there has been an increase of about 1,500 new cases in the last three weeks.
For ages 11 to 13 years old, there has been an increase of about 1,000 cases.
For ages 14 to 17 years old, there are more than 1,800 new cases.
“As physicians, we are concerned about the potential for children to infect their educators, and their loved ones at home,” Bansal said. “We’re also concerned about the long-term impact.”
While the numbers have increased, there has been a slight decrease in the positivity rate.
But that’s likely because more kids are being tested now.
Back in June and July, only about 3,000 to 4,000 kids under 18 had been tested. In one point in July, the positivity rate was as high as 24%, now, it’s half that.
Around the time face-to-face learning started again, the positivity rate was about 12.2%. While testing has increased since then, there hasn’t been much change in the rate.
One of the major concerns doctors have is say they have is that even in patients with no symptoms, they’re finding about half of them develop lung issues later.
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