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More children testing positive for COVID-19; most are asymptomatic

Posted at 10:12 AM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-17 10:12:55-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Since the pandemic began, more than 1 million children in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The country is coming off a weekly record, with 111,946 new cases in children reported Nov. 5-12. While these numbers are new, one thing appears to be the same as it was early in the pandemic.

“Most children aren't even symptomatic,” said Dr. Carol Steltenkamp with UK HealthCare.

Steltenkamp says most young patients who test positive for COVID-19 at the hospital don't come in because they show symptoms. They're tested before being seen for an unrelated procedure.

Over the summer, many elective procedures were paused and now that they're being done again, the state is discovering more positive COVID cases in children.

“It's reinforcing what we already know and that is even children, when they get the COVID virus really tolerate it much better than adults, particularly elderly adults or those that have some sort of preexisting or coexisting condition,” Steltenkamp said.

Even though children tend to be asymptomatic, Steltenkamp says right now the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn't recommend randomly testing your child for the virus, unless there are special circumstances discussed with your doctor first.

“Say if you're going to be traveling, should you test,” she said. “If there is going to be some instance where you're going to be seeing grandma or grandpa or some older person.”

To help keep families as healthy as possible, Steltenkamp says to keep wearing masks in public, including children older than two. She also encourages parents to keep an open discussion about the virus with their child, so they know how to tell if they're sick or if someone they've been around is sick.