Children and COVID-19: New Cases May Be Leveling Off

Richard Franki

September 17, 2020

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

Growth in new pediatric COVID-19 cases has evened out in recent weeks, but children now represent 10% of all COVID-19 cases in the United States, and that measurement has been rising throughout the pandemic, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association.


The cumulative number of child COVID-19 cases was 549,432 for the week ending Sept. 10, an increase of 7.0% (36,017 cases) from the week before, the AAP and the CHA said in the report, based on data from 49 states (New York City is included but not New York state), the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

The weekly percentage of increase in the number of new cases has not reached double digits since early August and has been no higher than 7.8% over the last 3 weeks. The number of child COVID-19 cases, however, has finally reached 10% of the total for Americans of all ages, which stands at 5.49 million in the jurisdictions included in the report, the AHA and CHA reported.

Measures, however, continue to show low levels of severe illness in children, they noted, including the following:

  • Child cases as a proportion of all COVID-19 hospitalizations: 1.7%.

  • Hospitalization rate for children: 1.8%.

  • Child deaths as a proportion of all deaths: 0.07%.

  • Percent of child cases resulting in death: 0.01%.

The number of cumulative cases per 100,000 children is now up to 728.5 nationally, with a range by state that goes from 154.0 in Vermont to 1,670.3 in Tennessee, which is one of only two states reporting cases in those aged 0-20 years as children (the other is South Carolina). The age range for children is 0-17 or 0-19 for most other states, although Florida uses a range of 0-14, the report notes.

Other than Tennessee, there are 10 states with overall rates higher than 1,000 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 children, and there are nine states with cumulative totals over 15,000 cases (California is the highest with just over 75,000), according to the report.

This article originally appeared on, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.