State-level reports are the best publicly available and timely data on child COVID-19 cases in the United States. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association are collaborating to collect and share all publicly available data from states on child COVID-19 cases. The definition of “child” case is based on varying age ranges reported across states (see report Appendix for details and links to all data sources).
Reported COVID-19 cases among children spiked dramatically in 2022 during the Omicron variant winter surge, peaking at 1,150,000 cases reported in one week. For the week ending May 19th, more than 107,000 additional child COVID-19 cases were reported, an increase of about 72% from two weeks ago. This marks the sixth consecutive weekly increase in reported child cases.
Almost 13.3 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic according to available state reports; over 316,000 of these cases have been added in the past 4 weeks. Nearly 5.4 million reported cases have been added in 2022.
The age distribution of reported COVID-19 cases was provided on the health department websites of reporting states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Since the pandemic began, children represented 19.0% of total cumulated cases. For the week ending May 19th, children were 18.9% of reported weekly COVID-19 cases (children, under age 18, make up 22.2% of the US population). A smaller subset of states reported on hospitalizations and mortality by age. There is an urgent need to collect more age-specific data to assess the severity of illness related to new variants as well as potential longer-term effects. It is important to recognize there are immediate effects of the pandemic on children’s health, but importantly we need to identify and address the long-lasting impacts on the physical, mental, and social well-being of this generation of children and youth.
Summary of Findings (data available as of 5/19/22) :
Cumulative Number of Child COVID-19 Cases*
- 13,253,639 total child COVID-19 cases reported, and children represented 19.0% (13,253,639/69,867,027) of all cases
- Overall rate: 17,609 cases per 100,000 children in the population
Change in Child COVID-19 Cases*
- 107,140 child COVID-19 cases were reported the past week from 5/12/22-5/19/22 (13,146,499 to 13,253,639) and children represented 18.9% (107,140/565,429) of the weekly reported cases
- Over two weeks, 5/5/22-5/19/22, there was a 2% increase in the cumulated number of child COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic (200,651 cases added (13,052,988 to 13,253,639))
Cumulative Hospitalizations (25 states and NYC reported)*
- Among states reporting, children ranged from 1.2%-4.6% of their total cumulated hospitalizations, and 0.1%-1.5% of all their child COVID-19 cases resulted in hospitalization
Cumulative Mortality (46 states, NYC, PR and GU reported)*
- Among states reporting, children were 0.00%-0.29% of all COVID-19 deaths, and 3 states reported zero child deaths
- In states reporting, 0.00%-0.02% of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in death
* Note: Data Limitations. The numbers in this report represent cumulative counts since states began reporting. The data are based on how public agencies collect, categorize and post information. All data reported by state/local health departments are preliminary and subject to change and reporting may change over time. Notably, in the summer of 2021 and winter of 2022, some states have revised cases counts previously reported, begun reporting less frequently, or dropped metrics previously reported. For example, due to several changes on their dashboards and the data currently available, AL, TX, HI, DC, MS, and SC data in this report are not current (cumulative data through 7/29/21, 8/26/21, 1/13/22, 3/3/22, 3/10/22, and 4/28/22 respectively). Readers should consider these factors. States may have additional information on their web sites.
Changes in testing and how states report might affect week to week comparisons. The extremely high volume of cases during the Omicron surge followed by the sharp decline in cases may have created discontinuities in state reports week to week. Shortages of COVID-19 tests during surges and the increasing use of COVID-19 home tests likely affect the undercounting of COVID-19 cases. During holiday weeks states may change their reporting schedules which may cause irregularities in trends. At times when COVID-19 transmission is low, states might reduce the frequency information is updated. Beginning in March 2022, several states shifted to updating data one to two times a week.
On 4/19/22, TX released new data that is NOT included in cumulative case counts or figures but located here and in Appendix 3B of this report (1,214,028 cumulative child cases as of 4/19/22); TX previously reported age for only a small proportion of total cases each week (eg, 2-20%); these cumulative cases through 8/26/21 are included (7,754).
On Hospitalizations: For additional data and trends over time from the CDC on US child hospitalizations in all states, visit https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#new-hospital-admissions
On Mortality: For additional data on US child mortality from the CDC, visit https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#demographics
American Academy of Pediatrics