At Least 380,000 U.S. Children Have Tested Positive for COVID-19

Published by TIME.COM

The report, from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association, counts more than 380,000 total confirmed cases in children as of Aug. 6.

Recently, evidence has emerged that COVID-19 seems to not to produce as severe symptoms in children as it does in adults, which has given new justification for communities and lawmakers to push to reopen schools for in-person classes.

While severe COVID-19 in children is uncommon, it's not unheard of.

As of Aug. 6, 90 children had died from the disease, in 44 states and NYC. Overall, the new report found that children make up a growing proportion of COVID-19 cases.

These data do not paint a perfect picture of how COVID-19 is affecting children in the U.S. Each state has rolled out social distancing measures and COVID-19 testing differently, which might affect both who's getting sick and who's being counted.

It's also unclear to what extent increased testing has led more children to be tested for the virus in the first place.

It might be the case that in the early months of the pandemic, only the sickest were getting tested; given that children seem to experience less severe symptoms of a COVID-19 infection, it's possible that in the spring, many children caught COVID-19 and recovered without ever getting noticeable symptoms, and thus without ever getting tested.

Notably, the age range that defines "Child" differs between states-while most reported ages 0 to 17 or 0 to 19 as children, Florida and Utah limited "Children" to ages 0 to 14, while Alabama went all the way up to age 24.

States in the south and west have driven much of the increase in the number of children diagnosed with COVID-19.

New York City and New Jersey, the epicenters of the early days of pandemic, have a much smaller relative proportion of children diagnosed with COVID-19, comprising about 3% in each.