The Coronavirus pandemic has caused many children to be at risk during quarantine. Since the vaccine is still not opened up for all younger ages, parents have had concerns about schools reopening despite there being a delta variant currently spreading. And to no surprise, children under the age of 12 have had a 21% increase in COVID cases according to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In states such as Florida where vaccination rates are not as high due to banned mask and vaccine mandates, schools have been delayed and shut down from the increase in cases. While the general number of COVID-19 cases is starting to stabilize, cases in children will continue to increase.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, child cases have more than tripled in the last month, climbing from 38,000 cases in the week ending July 22 to 180,000 cases in the week ending August 19, hitting levels not seen since the winter spike of 2020-2021. Young children take up more than 22% of weekly reported COVID-19 cases and 3.6% of hospitalizations.
While parents are criticizing the state’s decision to reopen schools, doctors say that it is not the schools itself that are affecting these reported numbers.
“”It’s the fact that people are not adhering to mitigation methods,” said Dr. Andi Shane, chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at Emory University School of Medicine and hospital epidemiologist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.”From the USA Today article, “Are schools contributing to a spike in COVID-19 cvases among kids? Partly, experts explain.”
Controlling pediatric infections is influenced not just by what happens in schools, but also by community transmission, according to Shane. Most children are infected by an adult in the neighborhood or family, who subsequently spread the virus to unvaccinated children at school. Shane encourages everyone to be vaccinated in order to safeguard children under the age of 12, who may not be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination until the middle of the school year or later. Pfizer expects to conclude the research in children aged 5 to 11 this autumn, and in younger children early next year.
Despite the fact that most states in the United States do not require children to wear masks, she believes it is still necessary to send them to school for in-person lessons. Parents can protect their children by instituting mitigation measures at home that they can take to school with them.