Pediatric COVID-19 in Tennessee

From CNN this morning:

Alabama is now seeing the highest number of Covid-19 cases among children than at any other time during the pandemic, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said Friday.

From August 1-18, 2020, the state saw 1,831 cases of Covid-19 in children between the ages of 5 and 17. But for that same period this year, the state saw 8,462 cases in that age range.

According to Harris, there were 50 pediatric patients hospitalized as of August 19, 9 of whom are on ventilators.

Dr. Sara Cross, a member of the Covid-19 task force for Tennessee’s governor and an infectious disease specialist at the University of Tennessee, said bans on mask mandates would have “catastrophic consequences” for those in classrooms.

“When one child doesn’t wear a mask, it doesn’t only affect that child. It affects the entire classroom. It affects teachers. We just had a teacher in the Memphis area, a 31-year-old woman, die of Covid in the past few days from acquiring it in the classroom,” Cross told CNN’s Ana Cabrera on Thursday.

“We can’t handle what we’re seeing. We are estimating that the number of cases in Tennessee will increase six-fold by the end of September if we don’t take measures to mitigate the spread,” Cross said.

“This is not an adult disease anymore,” Cross said, saying the pediatric hospital in downtown Memphis “currently has at least 9 children in the ICU from Covid-19.”

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