CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Case of coronavirus among kids have risen across the nation, but also in Ohio, where the percent of children and young adults ages 0 to 19 testing positive represent a greater percentage of Ohio’s coronavirus cases, rising every month since March from 2.4% to 12.8%.
“So what does that mean?,” asked Dr. Lolita McDavid, medical director of Child Advocacy and Protection at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s. “It probably means that we’re not doing the things we need to do to keep people from getting sick.”
The increase doesn’t surprise McDavid, who said kids have been under-tested, usually only getting tested when they have symptoms.
“No, I’m not shocked because I think for a long time we were not, we weren’t testing kids,” she said. “There were people who were. It was much more urgent to test.”
Like adults, kids with comorbidity like obesity, lung problems and diabetes are more vulnerable and their cases can be severe.
“Kids don’t seem to be hospitalized as often, but if they are, when they do, there’s like a 42% chance they’ll end up in an Intensive Care Unit,” she said.
McDavid said the increase in cases will not make the decision easier for kids returning to school and does not provide a clear-cut answer either way.
“I think that is going to be handled on a district-by-district basis,” she said. “The schools have to figure out what can they do. Can you really keep social distance? Are they set up for that? Are parents willing to send their kids back to school?”
Many school districts, including the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, have elected to start the first nine weeks of class online.