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252,000 children test positive for COVID-19 in past week as classes resume

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A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association reveals that nearly 252,000 children have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week as schools reopen for in-person learning and the delta variant surges across the U.S.

By comparison, nearly 8,400 cases among young people were noted in a weekly report in June.

More than half of all new pediatric cases have been found in Southern states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More children have been hospitalized in Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has banned school mask mandates, than in any other state in the country, according to ABC News. 

“We’re calling this the fourth wave … but it has certainly been by far the most impactful surge — really hitting children and adolescents,” James Versalovic, pathologist-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital, told the network.

An 11-year-old in the state reportedly contracted COVID-19 only a few days after she returned to in-person learning. Her mother told ABC News that the girl was put on a ventilator.

“Her lungs were going through hell. … They’ve been doing breathing treatments on her every four hours and then they suction her lungs out at the same time,” Terri Gurganious, said of her daughter, who is too young to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association wrote in the latest weekly report that death and severe illness are “uncommon” among children.

However, the organizations warned that more data still needs to be collected on long-term effects “including ways the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects.”

More than 5 million children have tested positive for the virus since the start of the pandemic, with more than 750,000 pediatric cases being reported in the last month, according to the organizations.

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