COVID-19 cases in Colorado children are declining, but public health officials warn they could rise after holiday gatherings
The number of coronavirus cases in children fell slightly last week, but Colorado public health officials warned on Wednesday that the state could still see infections increase in the coming weeks as families gather for the holidays.
Just over 4,720 children and teens tested positive for COVID-19 in the week between Nov. 14 and Nov. 21, a 6.6% drop from 5,061 cases in the previous week, according to the latest data from the health department of the United States. stands. Coloradans 5 years to 11 accounted for 2,461 of those cases.
It’s too early to know if the drop reflects an overall downward trend as the number of cases among children and teens remains high – infections rose 40% from about a month ago, when the state recorded 3,361 cases among those under the 18 years.
Young Coloradans have had more infections during the current wave of the virus in the state, with transmission being highest in children ages 5 to 11.
“Now is not the time to assume things are getting better,” said Dr. Eric France, Chief Medical Officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, during a news conference. “We must be vigilant.”
The total number of hospital admissions remains high. As of Wednesday, the state has only 645 beds available and 1,576 Coloradans were hospitalized Tuesday with COVID-19, said Scott Bookman, COVID-19 Incident Commander.
Children are less likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19, but the risk is still there. They can also develop long COVID or a rare but serious condition called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, or MIS-C, after an infection.
Children’s Hospital Colorado has seen an increase in children with MIS-C, which can inflame the heart, lungs and other organs, said Dr. Samuel Dominguez, a pediatric infection specialist at the hospital. He had no data on the number of cases.
“The fact is, we still have a lot of children who haven’t been vaccinated yet,” Dominguez said, adding, “The coming weeks may present opportunities for more spread as people come together.”
Nationally, childhood infections rose 32% from about two weeks ago, with nearly 142,000 U.S. children testing positive for COVID-19 in the week ending Nov. 18, according to a report released this week by The American Academy of Pediatrics.
According to the state health department, at least 81,711 children ages 5 to 11 and 279,796 teens ages 12 to 17 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.