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El Paso County reports 9% of cases are in children 17 and younger

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Parents are grappling with whether to send their children to school in the fall as cases continue to grow in El Paso County.

El Paso County Public Health reported as of 4 p.m. Sunday night that there have been 319 cases in children 17 and younger, which accounts for about 9% of El Paso County's cases. They say this number has slowly increased as the pandemic has continued.

Dr. Reginald Washington, Chief Medical Officer at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children and Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center say the hospital alone has seen a recent uptick.

"We have three patients in the hospital currently with COVID. They're not as sick as some of the ones previously but we've had children on ventilators, we've had a couple of kids pass away from COVID. It's the real deal, it exists," he said.

According to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on available evidence, most children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date.

"Younger children, very young children pre-k and up to middle school, do not appear to shed the virus at the same rate as older children high school and above," Washington said.

The CDC released this information on their website on how to keep kids safe.

  • Parents and caretakers play an important role in teaching children to wash their hands. Explain that hand washing can keep them healthy and stop the virus from spreading to others.
  • Be a good role model—if you wash your hands often, they’re more likely to do the same.
  • Make handwashing a family activity.
  • Learn more about what you can do to protect children.

Washington said symptoms in children are also much different in adults, so parents need to be vigilant.

"Children who test positive for COVID may not have a fever, so that may not be the marker one needs to follow. They also have more GI symptoms and fewer respiratory symptoms, the younger children," he said.

Article Topic Follows: Colorado Springs

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Alexis Dominguez

Alexis is a reporter for KRDO and Telemundo Surco. Learn more about Alexis here.


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