Surge in cases of kids with COVID-19 raises concerns

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The number of COVID-19 cases among kids is on the rise. It’s an issue raising concerns as schools get ready for students to return to campuses in the next couple of weeks.

More and more kids are testing positive for COVID-19.

Cases in those ages 18 and under surged this week with 80 new cases confirmed in the last four days alone compared to 176 from the start of the pandemic through July 28, according to the Department of Health.

  • 8/1 – 7 pediatric cases (87 total)
  • 7/31 – 18 pediatric cases (123 total)
  • 7/30 – 32 pediatric cases (124 total)
  • 7/29 – 23 pediatric cases (109 total)

The Hawaii COVID-19 Healthcare Liaison, Lieutenant Governor Dr. Josh Green, said nationwide less than a month, only two percent of cases were children.

“I think now we’re testing more kids and we’re seeing that. When you sample appropriately, there’s a higher percentage.”

The good news, according to Lt. Gov. Green, is that there haven’t been many severe cases of COVID in kids.

“They have not been hospitalized very often and we’ve seen extraordinarily rare fatalities across the world.”

Lt. Gov. Green said the timing of the spike is especially concerning as schools prepare to welcome students back.

“What we’ve been seeing is vertical transmission between adults and children. And the concern the parents have had, and teachers, is if a lot of kids have (COVID-19) at school and spread it at school, what happens when they come home?”

“It’s concerning,” said Daniela Spoto who has two boys in elementary school.

“It’s scary to think that (kids) could be not just be contracting the disease when they go to class, but they could be spreading the disease around the community.”

Spoto said it’s also worrisome for the teachers–many of whom are in the higher-risk categories than their students.

Public schools are scheduled to resume face-to-face classes on August 17. Many private schools are preparing to offer hybrid schedules, rotating on campus and distance learning classes, in mid to late August.

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