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Children now make up nearly 40% of Tennessee's new COVID-19 cases, analysis shows

COVID-19 children AP Photo.jpg
Posted at 2:44 PM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 15:49:37-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nearly 40% of all COVID-19 cases reported last week were among children ages 0-18 years, a new analysis by the Tennessee Department of Health reveals.

Last week, there were 14,392 child cases, comprising 38.5% of all new COVID-19 cases in the state of Tennessee, according to the health department. The week before, there were 16,429 cases, which was 35.7% of the total cases reported statewide.

By comparison, the 0-18 age group has made up just 17.4% of total cases cumulatively for the entire pandemic.

Cumulatively, the more populous Shelby and Davidson counties have more children who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 throughout the pandemic, the state report shows.

But, when viewed as case rate per 100,000 people, the two counties had the lowest case rates in the state.

Last week, Davidson County had the lowest COVID-19 positivity rate among children 0-18, with 11.2% coming back with positive tests, the new analysis shows.

Much of rural West Tennessee had a child positivity rate of 20%, while much of East Tennessee recorded more than 21%.

Knox County and Sullivan County in northeast Tennessee were above 25%.

The latest daily report from the Tennessee Department of Health also shows the state set a new daily record for cases among children 0-10 years, with 1,435 cases. The previous high of 1,418 was set just last week.

Tennessee also reported the second-highest daily number for new COVID-19 cases among school-age children, ages 5-18, with 2,819 cases - just shy of last week's high of 2,837.

With 10,086 new COVID cases reported in Tennessee in total, school-age children make up 28% of that number.

Tennessee has already reported nearly 40,000 new cases among school-age children in August.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 hospitalizations in Tennessee continue to skyrocket, preparing to surpass the previous all-time high. The latest data shows 3,272 Tennesseans are hospitalized, nearing the record of 3,314 set in January.

Tennessee has also reported record highs of 939 COVID patients in intensive care and 645 on ventilators.

That hospitalization number includes a record-high 79 pediatric patients, 16 of whom are in ICU and nine on ventilators.