One Measure of Child COVID-19 May Be Trending Downward

Richard Franki

October 09, 2020

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

After increasing for several weeks, the proportion of new COVID-19 cases occurring in children has dropped for the second week in a row, according to data in a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association.


COVID-19 cases in children accounted for 12.3% of all new cases in the United States for the week ending Oct. 1, down from 15.2% the previous week. That measure had reached its highest point, 16.9%, just one week earlier (Sept. 17), the AAP and the CHA said in their weekly COVID-19 report.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in children now stands as 657,572, or 10.6% of the more than 6.2 million cases reported among Americans of all ages, based on data from the health departments of 49 states (New York does not provide ages on its website), as well as the District of Columbia, New York City, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

The child COVID-19 rate for the United States was 874 per 100,000 children as of Oct. 1, and that figure has doubled since the end of July. At the state level, the highest rates can be found in Tennessee (2,031.4 per 100,000), North Dakota (2,029.6), and South Carolina (2,002.6), with the lowest rates in Vermont (168.9), Maine (229.1), and New Hampshire (268.3), the AAP/CHA report shows.

The children of Wyoming make up the largest share, 22.4%, of any state's COVID-19 cases, followed by North Dakota and Tennessee, both at 18.3%. New Jersey is lower than any other state at 3.9%, although New York City is a slightly lower 3.6%, the AAP and CHA said.

"The data are limited because the states differ in how they report the data, and it is unknown how many children have been infected but not tested. It is unclear how much of the increase in child cases is due to increased testing capacity," the AAP said in an earlier statement.

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