The number of new COVID-19 cases in children declined for the sixth consecutive week, but the drop was the smallest yet, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.
That drop of almost 6,400 cases, or 9.0%, falls short of the declines recorded in any the previous 5 weeks, which ranged from 18,000 to 46,000 cases and 15.3% to 28.7%, based on data from the heath departments of 49 states (excluding New York), as well as the District of Columbia, New York City, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
The total number of children infected with SARS-CoV-2 is up to almost 3.17 million, which represents 13.1% of cases among all age groups. That cumulative proportion was unchanged from the previous week, which has occurred only three other times over the course of the pandemic, the AAP and CHA said in their.
Despite the 6-week decline in new cases, however, the cumulative rate continued to climb, rising from 4,124 cases per 100,000 children to 4,209 for the week of Feb. 19-25. The states, not surprisingly, fall on both sides of that national tally. The lowest rates can be found in Hawaii (1,040 per 100,000 children), Vermont (2,111 per 100,000), and Maine (2,394), while the highest rates were recorded in North Dakota (8,580), Tennessee (7,851), and Rhode Island (7,223), the AAP and CHA said.
The number of new child deaths, nine, stayed in single digits for a second consecutive week, although it was up from six deaths reported a week earlier. Total COVID-19–related deaths in children now number 256, which represents just 0.06% of coronavirus deaths for all ages among the 43 states (along with New York City and Guam) reporting such data.
Among those jurisdictions, Texas (40), Arizona (27), and New York City (23) have reported the most deaths in children, while nine states and the District of Columbia have reported no deaths yet, the AAP and CHA noted.