the staff of the4 Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, according to Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security ,the beginning of the 2020-21 school year continues to be tumultuous with some schools conducting classes in-person, some only teaching remotely, and others utilizing hybrid approaches. Plans also continue to change rapidly in many school districts, particularly in those that have been forced to implement quarantine, to varying degrees, or even suspend in-person classes entirely following positive SARS-CoV-2 tests among students or staff. Schools in multiple states—including Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee—have had to adapt existing plans in response to COVID-19 cases.
A study published jointly by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association found that 97,078 new confirmed infections among children were reported in the last 2 weeks of July, representing a 40% increase in overall reported infections among children. By the end of July, there were 338,982 total infections by children in the US, equivalent to 447 cases per 100,000 children and making up 8.8% of total US cases. Notably, the study found that 0.6%-8.9% of all cases among children—across 20 states and New York City—were hospitalized. Additionally, states reported COVID-19 mortality in children as high as 0.3%, although 20 of 44 states reported zero pediatric COVID-19 deaths. Two studies published in the US CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) address COVID-19 disease and associated conditions in pediatric cases. The first study describes clinical manifestations and characteristics of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a rare but serious condition among pediatric COVID-19 patients that has thus far affected at least 570 children across 40 states and Washington, DC. The second study describes characteristics of hospitalized pediatric COVID-19 patients in the US from March to July. The researchers noted that hospitalization rates were higher among racial and ethnic minorities, consistent with data reported among adult COVID-19 cases. The hospitalization rate was 4-8 times higher among Black and Hispanic and Latino children than among non-Hispanic White children. Notably, one-third of all hospitalized children were ultimately admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU), clearly illustrating that, while children are at lower risk for severe disease than adults, pediatric patients can experience severe COVID-19 disease. Among hospitalized children, 42% had an underlying medical condition, with obesity being the most common. In the US, 1 in 5 children are obese, which further highlights the risk of severe COVID-19 disease among pediatric patients.