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).
As of December 1st, over 15 million children are reported to have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic according to available state reports. About 114,000 of these cases have been added in the past 4 weeks. This week 28,600 child COVID-19 cases were reported. Over the past 8 weeks, weekly reported child cases have plateaued at an average of about 27,000 cases.
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 18.2% of total cumulated cases.
For the current week ending December 1st, this portion of reported cases that were children was 10.8% (children, under age 18, make up 22.2% of the US population). Reported cases are likely a substantial undercount of COVID-19 cases among children.
There is a 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 12/1/22) :
Cumulative Number of Child COVID-19 Cases*
- 15,036,663 total child COVID-19 cases reported, and children represented 18.2% (15,036,663/82,394,391) of all cases
- Overall rate: 19,978 cases per 100,000 children in the population
Change in Child COVID-19 Cases*
- 28,604 child COVID-19 cases were reported the past week from 11/24/22-12/1/22 (15,008,059 to 15,036,663) and children represented 10.8% (28,604/265,081) of the weekly reported cases
- Over two weeks, 11/17/22-12/1/22, there was a <1% increase in the cumulated number of child COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic (57,977 cases added (14,978,685 to 15,036,663))
* 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, SC, NE, and MN 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, 4/28/22, 5/12/22, and 6/30/22 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. For children, the periods when school is not in session might reduce the volume of testing and reporting.
On 10/15/22, TX released new data that is NOT included in cumulative case counts or figures but located here and in Appendix 3B of this report (1,333,768 cumulative child cases as of 10/15/22); 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).
As of 6/16/22, due to only a portion of states reporting hospitalizations and deaths, we are no longer providing updates on cumulative hospitalizations and mortality data. The CDC now provides information that includes all of the US: For information regarding US child hospitalizations from the CDC, visit https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#new-hospital-admissions. For information pertaining to US child morality from the CDC, visit https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#demographics.
American Academy of Pediatrics