Coronavirus infection rates among children and adolescents in Washington are on the decline, although a new report shows rates now remain higher than ever before the country’s summer spike in delta infections.
Between October 10 and October 24, the incidence rate among young people under 19 averaged 425.8 infections per 100,000 people, according to the State Department of Health. In September, the state estimated an average of over 600 cases per 100,000 in 14 days, according to the state Department of Health.
“Compared to where we were before the summer delta spike, today the incidence remains three times higher, the number of hospital admissions is twice as high, and the death rate is three to six times higher,” District Nurses Dr. Jeff said in a briefing Thursday. Dachin. “So while we are emerging from this major spike, we are still much higher in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.”
Rates are down as pediatric vaccines arrive in the state this week, and more than 300,000 doses are expected to be delivered to health care systems and Washington DC pharmacies over the next few weeks.
The state typically analyzes youth data based on its educational districts, which monitor dozens of school districts and private schools in different districts. For example, Puget Sound Education District serves 35 school districts, 272 private schools, seven charter schools, and two compact tribal schools in King and Pierce Counties.
In mid-October, the state’s Northern Central Education District, which covers 29 school districts in Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Okanogan counties, had the highest infection rate, with about 637.7 cases per 100,000 children and adolescents.
Rates were also high, at about 613.3 infections per 100,000 in the Northeast Washington School District, which serves 59 school districts in Adams, Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oray, Spokane, Stevens and Whitman counties.
In Western Washington, Puget Sound Education District counted about 316.8 infections per 100,000 people in mid-October, the lowest in the state.
The highest infection rate is observed among middle school children across the state – children aged 11 to 13 – about 506.6 cases per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, rates for high school students and young children range from 474 to 436 cases per 100,000 people.
The rates and number of cases represent cases within the region served by the educational school district and are based on the child’s home address.
Youth rates are much lower than in August and September during the wave of infectious delta variant – trends that are reflected locally.
In King County, the incidence rate among children under 17 has declined gradually since the start of the school year, according to the county’s youth infection dashboard. Since September 1, the infection rate among 16-17 year olds has decreased by 44%; a 10% reduction for children aged 12 to 15; and a 26% decrease for children aged 5 to 11.
However, the infection rate among young people is still much higher than at any point in the pre-delta pandemic.
According to a Ministry of Health report this week, the 14-day incidence rate for children under 19 is more than 400 cases per 100,000 children, while peaks in past outbreaks were lower, with estimates of about 300 cases per 100,000 children.
“Community transmission remains high,” Duchin said Thursday. “… It’s just that it’s unclear right now if our outbreak will stabilize at a relatively high level, decrease in the number of cases, or increase in the coming weeks.”
The children’s vaccines, which arrive in the state this week, will help, he said, although initial delays in deliveries are expected.
While Public Health – Seattle and King County is currently unable to make an appointment for children ages 5-11, Duchin said families can join the county’s waiting list and will be notified as soon as they are assigned. appointments at community health centers, health care providers and pharmacies later in the year. a week.
He estimates that about 48,000 of the 180,000 children in King County will receive their first vaccine in the first week or so, calling it a “temporary problem.”
He added that although the supply is limited in the first few weeks, no specific group of children is given priority attention.
“It is very difficult to predict which children will have severe cases of COVID,” Duchin said. “We know for sure that there are some known risk factors – obesity and other antecedents. But a third of children with severe COVID are otherwise healthy. ”
For more information on how to sign up for a pediatric vaccination or to sign up for a waiting list, see st.news/appt.