They’ll find that New Jersey children are not immune from getting virus, or its most harmful effects. Indeed, three children have died from the coronavirus in New Jersey.
And the dangers – as well as the potential risks to educators and administrators – could be why Gov. Phil Murphy, speaking during a 1 p.m. news conference on Wednesday, said he’ll allow districts to go all-remote if they so choose. Read more: NJ School Districts Can Go All-Remote Amid COVID-19: Here’s How
Among the reports that’s garnered attention this week is one from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association. It shows a 40 percent increase in pediatric coronavirus cases nationwide in the last two weeks of July, with nearly 100,000 testing positive in that time.
During the same period, there was an approximately 10 percent increase in pediatric coronavirus cases in New Jersey, according to the report. Tragically, three deaths have been reported since May, all involving children 4 years old and younger (see data below).
The reports echo the latestin New Jersey that shows nearly 6,000 people who are 18 and younger have been diagnosed with COVID-19, making up around 3 percent of the state’s confirmed cases to date. Of those, 1,021 were 4 years old and younger.
Just last week, officials in New Jersey announced that they are investigating the death of a 7-month-old baby who had tested positive for the coronavirus. Read more: Coronavirus May Have Caused New Jersey Infant’s Death: Officials
New Jersey announced in June the second death of a child in the state because of coronavirus complications. And in May, a 4-year-old child died, but state officials declined to provide further details, respecting the family’s privacy. Read more: Second Child In NJ Dies Due To Coronavirus
“That precious 4-year-old – unfathomable,” Gov. Phil Murphy said during another news conference.
Here is what the AAP and CHA report says:
- As of July 30, there were 5,097 children ages 0 to 17 who have tested positive for the coronavirus in New Jersey. There are 1,938,578 children ages 0 to 17 in New Jersey. That means out of each 100,000 children, there have been 263 cases, the AAP explains in its report.
- New Jersey’s pediatric cases made up the lowest percentage in the nation, as of July 30: 2.8 percent.
- Since not all states have the same age range for children as New Jersey (0-17), however, it’s not a perfect comparison. For instance, Utah’s data is for people 0-14 while Alabama’s is 0-25.
- Overall, children made up about 9 percent of all cases in the country as of the end of July.
- The rate of pediatric cases in the nation is around 447 per 100,000 cases, as of July 30.
- There were 86 pediatric deaths across the country in the national report.
- New Jersey has had 198 hospitalizations of people 0-17 due to COVID-19, as of July 30.
It’s still not known what sort of long-term complications children can get as a result from COVID-19.
The national report also comes as the Murphy administration is facing mounting pressure to lock school doors and keep kids home, and have the state go fully remote. Read more: NJ Provides More School Guidance As Pressure To Go Remote Mounts
Educators and administrators are especially worried that children can transmit the virus to teachers who may not be able to recover from COVID-19 as easily younger people. Many parents are also worried about putting their children in harm’s way.
While not all states reported to the AAP its data on hospitalizations and mortality by age, the available data indicates that COVID-19-associated hospitalization and death is uncommon in children.
“At this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare among children. However, states should continue to provide detailed reports on COVID-19 cases, testing, hospitalizations, and mortality by age so that the effects of COVID-19 on children’s health can continue to be documented and monitored,” the report summary said.
In the United States, there have been 338,982 total child COVID-19 cases reported. That’s 8.8 percent of all cases.
Here is the most recent breakdown of coronavirus deaths by age group throughout the pandemic in New Jersey: