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Incidence of COVID-19 Increased in Children Since September

THURSDAY, Jan. 14, 2021 -- The incidence of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 increased since September among children, adolescents, and young children, according to research published in the Jan. 13 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Eva Leidman, M.S.P.H., from the CDC COVID-19 Emergency Response Team updated and expanded previously published data to include trends in laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 incidence and testing volume after fall school reopenings, including for preschool-aged children (0 to 4 years) and college-aged young adults (18 to 24 years).

The researchers observed an increase in weekly incidence (cases per 100,000 persons) with age among children, adolescents, and young adults, with the highest incidence among all age groups during the final week of the review period (week of Dec. 6, 2020). Time trends in weekly reported incidence for children and adolescents tracked consistently with trends among adults, with incidence and positive test results increasing since September, following declines in the summer. For children aged 0 to 10 years, reported incidence and positive test results were consistently lower than in older age groups.

"Lower incidence among younger children and evidence from available studies suggest that the risk for COVID-19 introduction and transmission among children associated with reopening child care centers and elementary schools might be lower than that for reopening high schools and institutions of higher education," the authors write.

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