The number of weekly COVID-19 cases among children has climbed to the highest figure seen since the pandemic began, in what the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) described as an exponential increase since early summer with 251,781 new weekly infections.
“As of September 2, over 5 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic,” the AAP wrote in its latest report. “About 252,000 cases were added the past week, the largest number of child cases in a week since the pandemic began. After declining in early summer, child cases have increased exponentially, with over 750,000 cases added between August 5 and September 2.”
As of the week ending Sept. 2, kids comprised about 27% of weekly reported infections, compared to an overall 15.1% of total cases since the pandemic started. What’s more, from Aug. 19- Sept. 2, the AAP reported a 10% increase with 455,744 newly added cases (pushing the overall total count from 4,593,721 to 5,049,465). States reporting the largest increases in the percentage of pediatric cases include Hawaii, Florida and Georgia, among others.
The news comes as over 1,000 schools across 31 states have already shuttered within weeks into the school year, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing the data service Burbio. Classrooms in the Deep South were hit particularly hard with shutdowns, the outlet noted.