Kids Will Soon Have Highest COVID-19 Case Rate Of Any Age Group In Arizona

Published: Tuesday, August 24, 2021 - 3:18pm
Updated: Wednesday, August 25, 2021 - 7:34am
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Arizona’s COVID-19 outbreak is still widespread and medical experts say cases are rising at an alarming pace among children. 

The rate of cases among those 15 and younger is projected to surpass the rate of all other age groups in the state, according to data compiled by Dr. Joe Gerald, with the University of Arizona's Zuckerman College of Public Health.

"The age distribution of transmission is undergoing a profound shift," Gerald wrote Friday in his COVID-19 report. "Children now represent about 25% of cases, up from 10% during the winter 2020 outbreak." 

Dr. Josh LaBaer with ASU’s Biodesign Institute told reporters Tuesday this is the first time in the pandemic Arizona has seen pediatric cases climb so quickly.

“I’m sure that it’s a combination of the delta variant, and the fact that kids are going back to school, and many of them are not wearing masks at this point, and the fact that there’s no vaccine available to them," LaBaer said. 

LaBaer noted that children are still less likely than adults to be hospitalized when they catch the virus, but said in an outbreak this large, some will need medical care. 

“Remember that a small percentage of a big number is still a big number," LaBaer said. "And of course, we don’t want to see any kids in the hospitals.”

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