‘It’s concerning’: Experts say COVID-19 cases on the rise among young people

BOSTON (WHDH) - Health officials say that the number of positive COIVD-19 cases among young people is on the rise and one expert said he believes this uptick is the reason for the current spike sweeping the state.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health says between Oct. 5 and Oct. 18 there were just over 19,000 new cases of coronavirus among children and teens up to age 19 — more than any other age group for that same two-week period.

“Of course, it’s concerning universally, regardless of the age,” said Dr. Lloyd Fisher, president of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Fisher said one reason for the increase is more children are being tested now that school has resumed.

“The majority of children that we’re testing are still coming back negative,” he explained. “However, because we are testing so many or children, over the last month, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of positive cases.”

This comes as another high school in the state has been forced to transition to remote learning after students were caught at a party.

School officials in Wilmington and Marblehead have just announced their high schools will be switching to remote learning after police say they responded to parties attended by young people who were not following safety guidelines.

“It’s a little too early to really know that, because when we have these parties we haven’t yet done the testing and the contact tracing for that group,” Fisher said. “But, I’m absolutely sure that is factoring in.”

Despite the higher numbers, Fisher strongly feels it is important to get kids back into their classrooms for in-person learning as soon as possible.

“We’re seeing a significant rise in depression, anxiety, suicide, obesity, child abuse and neglect, and drug overdoses,” he said. “We should focus on closing other things before we consider closing the schools down and keep them open as long as possible.

Fisher said the kids who do get coronavirus are much more likely to get it at home than at shool.

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