The update comes as schools in the US are in session or in full swing. Experts have encouraged adults to get vaccinated to protect young children returning to the classroom.
“If we want to protect the children, especially those who are not yet vaccinated, you want to surround the children with people who are vaccinated – teachers, school staff, everyone else,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday.
In the past week (August 26 to September 2), 251,781 cases of Covid-19 were reported in children. That number represents more than a quarter of the total of 939,470 cases reported during that period.
For each of the past two weeks, children made up about 22% of the weekly reported cases. The definition of a child varies by state, but generally includes children up to the age of 17 or 18.
“After the decline in early summer, child cases have increased exponentially, with over 750,000 cases added between August 5 and September 2,” the AAP data reads.
Despite the alarming increase in cases, according to the AAP, it still seems that serious illnesses from Covid-19 in children are rare.
“There is an urgent need to collect more data on the longer-term effects of the pandemic on children, including how the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its impact on emotional and mental health,” the academy said called.
So far, more than 5 million children have tested positive for Covid-19 since the pandemic began, representing 15.1% of all cases in the United States.
Meanwhile, the number of cases for a rare complication related to Covid-19 in children has increased – multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, the CDC said on Tuesday. Although rare, MIS-C usually occurs a few weeks after a child is infected with Covid-19. Many MIS-C cases follow a symptom-free Covid-19 infection.
The number of cases – counted until August 22nd – represents a 6% increase from the end of July according to the CDC. As of August 22, 41 children had died of MIS-C, an increase of more than 10% compared to that Previous month and one of the biggest increases this year.
Many students return without school nurses
The situation of increasing Covid cases in children becomes even more worrying as it is estimated that a quarter of the schools that students return to do not have a school nurse. The CDC recommends that schools have one full-time nurse for every 750 students.
Based on the latest data from a national study of the school nurse workforce published in the Journal of School Nursing in 2018, about 39% of schools employ full-time nurses and about 35% employ part-time nurses, while 25% employ non-salaried school nurses. Experts point out that there has been a shortage of school nurses in the nation for years, but the pandemic is now shedding light on how severe the shortage has become.
According to the 2018 study published in the Journal of School Nursing, schools in rural areas are “significantly more likely” than schools in urban areas to have no nurses at all, compared to 10.3% of urban schools.
“Financing is a key issue. There’s an inconsistent mix of government and local funding that penalizes small rural school districts with inadequate tax bases, ”Laura Searcy, pediatric nurse and former president of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, told CNN.
“And there is likely to be a shortage of primary care providers in these areas as well.”
The daily average of Covid-19 cases is more than three times what it was last year
The country’s Covid-19 case rates have generally risen since the beginning of summer when the highly contagious Delta variant spread – and the current average is more than three times what it was a year ago.
The seven-day mean of new cases in the US on Monday (137,270 daily) dwarfs last year’s Labor Day average (39,355 daily), according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Hospital stays and daily Covid-19 deaths have also risen lately, and where those numbers go from here is “up to us,” Fauci told CNN on Tuesday.
“We have 75 million people in this country who can get vaccinated who haven’t yet been vaccinated. If we vaccinated the overwhelming majority of these people, we could reverse that in the cooler autumn weather.” “Said Fauci.
While officials are still finalizing the details, the speech will include several components related to schools, private businesses, and requirements for federal employees, the sources said.
According to Johns Hopkins, cases rose after June 22, when the US recorded its lowest average of 2021 (11,303 per day).
More than 99,800 Covid-19 patients were in US hospitals on Monday. That number has been falling in recent days but is still well above June 29, when the country hit a low of 16,152 in 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Health.
Last week, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, advised unvaccinated Americans not to travel on vacation, and reminded those vaccinated that the high rate of virus transmission could be risky for them to travel too.
Aside from the Delta variant, one difference between this year and last year is that Americans over the age of 12 can get Covid-19 vaccines, which experts believe are the best defense against the virus.
As for deaths, according to Johns Hopkins, the US recorded an average of more than 1,469 Covid-19 deaths per day last week on Monday – slightly lower than a few days ago, but still significantly higher than the low 2021 average, which were 218 daily on July 5th.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the US has now counted more than 40 million Covid-19 cases during the pandemic, of which more than 4 million have been reported in the last four weeks alone.
West Virginia Governor frustrated with the boost pace
According to CDC data, up to 5.2 million people could be entitled to a booster vaccination in the week of September 20. Approximately 3.4 million residents of the United States were fully vaccinated by January 20, which entitles them to a booster vaccination eight months later on September 20.
Fauci said that while the Biden government is still hoping to start boosting Pfizer recipients by September 20, the OK for Moderna boosters could follow a few weeks later.
“You’re probably not more than a couple of weeks behind if that much,” Fauci said of Moderna.
In West Virginia, Governor Jim Justice said Monday that he was eager for the boosters to begin.
“If we could just get the go-ahead from our government to absolutely give these booster shots, we’d be done with and do it right away,” Justice said. “We are ready to go.”
Justice accused the federal government of preventing West Virginia from taking the lead in its Covid response.
“We have people well over six months old and over 60 who need a booster. And we can’t give it up because we are being held up by the nation and federal level now, “Justice said.
Researchers are investigating whether different types of Covid-19 vaccines can be mixed and combined.
“We compete against Pfizer against Pfizer, Pfizer for Moderna and vice versa,” Fauci told CBS on Sunday to “Face the Nation”. “Hopefully we will have this data within a reasonable time, measured in a couple of weeks.”
At this point, it’s okay for healthy vaccinated Americans to wait and see what the CDC and FDA have to say before receiving a booster dose, said CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen. The most important thing is to give the unvaccinated their first two doses, she added.
CNN’s Amanda Watts, Jason Hanna, Deidre McPhillips, Carma Hassan, Leslie Perrot, Jacqueline Howard, Virginia Langmaid and Hannah Sarisohn contributed to this report.