Florida is reporting a high number of kids testing positive for coronavirus
Weeks after stay-at-home orders were lifted, some states are seeing record numbers of hospitalizations from Covid-19. In Florida, there is concern over the number of children contracting the virus at a rate much higher than adults.
As of Saturday, coronavirus cases were still increasing in 18 states — many of which recorded record or near-record highs. More than 117,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University. In Florida specifically, of the 37,211 children that have been swabbed, 9.2% of them (3,407) tested positive, according to the Florida Department of Health.
To date, there have been 73,552 confirmed cases of COVID-19 for Floridians as a whole. Of those, 103 children have been hospitalized, and ten have presented with the rare condition called, “Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children.” According to the CDC, this condition causes different body parts to become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. So far, no one under 25 has died from COVID-19 in Florida.
Also concerning is the positivity rate — the percentage of children who tested positive out of all the kids who were tested — which is at a rate of 9%, higher than the positivity rate for adults. With outdoor youth activities and summer camps beginning, many are concerned this means more kids will get COVID-19 and can pass it along to those at greater risk for death, including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
“I suspect there are a lot of kids who may be shedding small amounts of virus without a whole lot of symptoms,” said Dr. Kenneth Alexander, chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando. “If you look at the mortality data and even the hospitalization data, children do really, really well. The majority of kids with COVID-19 probably don’t even come to medical attention,” said Alexander. “I’m much more worried about the 62-year-old diabetic lunch lady than I am about the kid getting a Sloppy Joe. So, as we think about opening our schools, I think the name of the game is still protecting the adults in the school environment.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also acknowledged that kids, though they can have a better long-term prognosis, can get seriously ill from the virus. “For whatever reason, kids don’t seem to get infected at the same rate” as adults, DeSantis said. But, “kids are not immune from this.”
There is also concern about the impacts these increases will have later in the year. “If anything, we must be overprepared for what we might face later this year,” Dr. Jay Butler told CNN. “Getting the flu vaccine will be more important than ever, as flu and Covid-19 could be circulating together as we move into the fall and winter months.”Information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and Scary Mommy is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. With news being updated so frequently, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For this reason, we are encouraging readers to use online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.