Pediatric COVID-19 case surge continues across US

peds nasal swab
peds nasal swab

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Today, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released its latest numbers on how many American children are being infected with COVID-19 and said nearly 226,000 child COVID-19 cases were reported from Sep 9 to 16, the third highest number of child cases in a week since the pandemic began.

Children represented 25.7% of the weekly reported cases.

"After declining in early summer, child cases have increased exponentially, with over 925,000 cases in the past 4 weeks," the AAP said. In total, roughly 5.5 million US children have been infected with COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Though severe illness is very rare, the AAP warned, "There is an urgent need to collect more data on longer-term impacts of the pandemic on children, including ways the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects."

Yesterday, the United States reported 201,648 new COVID-19 cases and 2,302 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker. In total, the United States has confirmed 42,341,134 COVID-19 cases, including 677,261 deaths.

As of Monday, roughly the same number of Americans have now died from COVID-19 as the number who died during the 1918-1919 flu pandemic, the Washington Post reports. But the population was one-third of the current population in 1918, which means the flu was felt more acutely.

September could be deadliest month since February

Despite the wide availability of vaccines that cut the risk of death from COVID-19 significantly, September may be the deadliest month in the pandemic since February, according to a USA Today analysis of Johns Hopkins data.

As of this weekend, the United States reported 32,666 deaths in September, compared with 27,755 in all of August, with many states reporting double the number of deaths compared to August.

In Minnesota, 757 patients are now hospitalized due to COVID-19, the highest figure for 2021, according to the StarTribune.

Travel restrictions include proof of vaccination

The Biden administration will require foreign nationals seeking to fly to the United States to show proof of vaccination, the Wall Street Journal reports. The new policy, which will take effect in November, replaces the travel ban originally put in place under the Trump administration.

In related news, the United States has extended Canada and Mexico border restrictions for nonessential travel, including tourism, until Oct 21.

Finally, today two major American public school districts have announced new policies aimed at keeping kids in in-person learning. Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that all adults in public and private schools, as well as daycare centers, must be fully vaccinated by Nov 1.

"We know that vaccinations are the most effective tool to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect children who are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine," said Bowser in a press release. "This new mandate requirement, without a test-out option, will add another critical layer to the robust measures we have implemented to reopen our schools and keep our child care centers safe."

And in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said officials will begin conducting weekly, random COVID-19 tests of unvaccinated students. The teachers' union had requested weekly testing instead of biweekly testing in the district, which has about 1 million students.

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