COVID-19 Trends Among School-Aged Children - United States, March 1-September 19, 2020

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Oct 2;69(39):1410-1415. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6939e2.


Approximately 56 million school-aged children (aged 5-17 years) resumed education in the United States in fall 2020.* Analysis of demographic characteristics, underlying conditions, clinical outcomes, and trends in weekly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) incidence during March 1-September 19, 2020 among 277,285 laboratory-confirmed cases in school-aged children in the United States might inform decisions about in-person learning and the timing and scaling of community mitigation measures. During May-September 2020, average weekly incidence (cases per 100,000 children) among adolescents aged 12-17 years (37.4) was approximately twice that of children aged 5-11 years (19.0). In addition, among school-aged children, COVID-19 indicators peaked during July 2020: weekly percentage of positive SARS-CoV-2 test results increased from 10% on May 31 to 14% on July 5; SARS-CoV-2 test volume increased from 100,081 tests on May 31 to 322,227 on July 12, and COVID-19 incidence increased from 13.8 per 100,000 on May 31 to 37.9 on July 19. During July and August, test volume and incidence decreased then plateaued; incidence decreased further during early September and might be increasing. Percentage of positive test results decreased during August and plateaued during September. Underlying conditions were more common among school-aged children with severe outcomes related to COVID-19: among school-aged children who were hospitalized, admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU), or who died, 16%, 27%, and 28%, respectively, had at least one underlying medical condition. Schools and communities can implement multiple, concurrent mitigation strategies and tailor communications to promote mitigation strategies to prevent COVID-19 spread. These results can provide a baseline for monitoring trends and evaluating mitigation strategies.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques / statistics & numerical data
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / mortality
  • Coronavirus Infections / therapy*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / mortality
  • Pneumonia, Viral / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology