While cases increased across all age groups in the latest wave of COVID, kids have been testing positive for COVID-19 more often than adults, adjusted for population.
The increase is due to the highly contagious delta variant, relaxed restrictions and ineligibility for children under 12 to get vaccines.
“Definitely over the last eight weeks we’ve seen dramatic increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in kids,” said Dr. Donna Tyungu, a pediatric infectious disease physician at OU Health in Oklahoma City. “It started right when we started school.”
In August and September, hospitalizations of children with COVID-19 increased across the U.S. Weekly pediatric admissions reached a peak of more than three kids per 100,000 the week ending Sept. 5 and have since declined in most states along with adult COVID-19 admissions.
Still, in more than a dozen states, including Michigan, Oklahoma, Utah, Delaware, and Vermont, pediatric admission rates have increased in the last two weeks. Children are less likely than adults to experience severe illness from the disease.
– Janie Haseman and Aleszu Bajak, USA TODAY
Also in the news:
►Italy will offer a third COVID-19 vaccine dose to residents over the age of 60 and to those with “fragile” health conditions who received their last shot at least six months ago, its health ministry said.
► Los Angeles County sheriff Alex Villanueva says he will not enforce the county’s vaccine mandate in his agency. He says his employees are willing to be terminated rather than get the vaccine.
► Cruise ships will return to San Francisco on Monday after 19 months of pause due to the COVID pandemic, Mayor London Breed announced Friday.
► Brazil’s death toll from the coronavirus pandemic topped 600,000, according to data from its health ministry on Friday. It has the third-highest number of recorded deaths in the world, behind the U.S. and India.
► A man who tried to defraud the government out of more than half a million dollars in COVID relief funds and then faked his own suicide to evade prosecution was sentenced to 56 months in prison.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 44.2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 712,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 237.2 million cases and 4.8 million deaths. More than 186.9 million Americans – 56.3% of the population – are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
📘 What we’re reading: At least 140,000 U.S. children have lost caregivers to COVID-19. Researchers in a study published Thursday found children of color account for 65% of the children orphaned. Read more.
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Nevada to begin including rapid tests in COVID tallies
Nevada became one of the last states in the country to start including results from rapid antigen COVID- tests in its overall case tallies this week, which could provide a better picture of the number of positive cases in the state.
Health officials in the state say the test results weren’t already included in the counts because of limited resources, despite federal guidance.
Rapid antigen tests have a turnaround time of only a few minutes, compared to molecular tests that have to be sent to labs and can take up to a few days for results. Lab tests are more accurate, but the fast results of rapid tests have made them widely used to find cases in jails and nursing homes.
-The Associated Press
Women leaving workforce during COVID likely lowered Texas gender wage gap
Texas’ gender wage gap has shrunk — but it’s likely an anomaly due to the number of women who left the workforce during the coronavirus pandemic.
Women in the state who worked full-time in 2020 earned a median of 87 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics — the highest figure in more than two decades that the data have been tracked and a sizable increase from about 81 cents in 2019.
There was a disproportionately negative impact on women last year as the pandemic triggered widespread layoffs and forced some people to leave the workforce to care for children or other family members.
“All the anecdotal evidence as well as pieces of data that we have been able to find have shown that jobs that women hold have been hardest hit by COVID,” said Dena Jackson, chief operating officer of the Texas Women’s Foundation. The women who held those jobs “are not reflected in the data — they have become invisible,” she said.
– Bob Sechler, The Austin-American Statesman
Nursing home owner whose licenses were removed after Ida deaths appeals decision
The owner of seven nursing homes in Louisiana is appealing the state health department’s decision to remove his licenses after seven residents died during Hurricane Ida in “inhumane” warehouse conditions.
Bob Dean, a Baton Rouge businessman, refuted that residents were treated with “cruelty or indifference,” and argued that the deteriorated warehouse conditions were the result of uncontrollable storm damage that interrupted essential services.
About 800 nursing home residents were evacuated to a warehouse, where conditions were later determined to be unhealthy and unsafe, according to state health officials. Five of the seven deaths were determined to be linked to Hurricane Ida. The residents were moved to other facilities in the state.
State health officials cited cruelty or indifference, neglect, and failure to report neglect among several reasons for revoking the licenses. Officials also accused Dean of “a campaign of threats, intimidation and attempts” to derail the investigation.
Contributing: The Associated Press