Kansas City Health Department seeing huge increase in COVID-19 cases among children

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A warning to parents to take COVID-19 seriously after an 1,100% increase in cases among children.

The Kansas City, Missouri Health Department said cases in the last two months exploded among children 12 and younger.

The health department released some numbers Thursday that show the impact COVID-19 has on children, 12 and under. Officials said they’ve had 606 COVID-19 cases in children in the month of August.

“I only go out when I really need to, like to get groceries and stuff,” said mother Hayley Collins, who is protective over her little ones. “I try to stay home and find things to do so they can have fun.”

Collins recently had a COVID-19 scare with her son. He had to quarantine after one of his teachers came down with the virus.

“I wouldn’t know what to do if one of mine got it,” she said.

Her son is fine and quarantined.

“Over the last two weeks our case rate for folks under 18 has been 407 per 100,000,” said Kansas City, Missouri Health Department Interim Director Frank Thompson. “That is more than double the CDC threshold for highest risk of transmission.”

With increasing cases comes more hospitalizations.

“In fact since May 1, on a regional level there have been over 1,200 hospitalizations for people under 18,” Thompson said. “That’s our school age children.”

FOX4 asked how many of the 600 plus child COVID cases were hospitalizations, the health department said it did not have that specific data.

Health officials said the last time child cases were high was in November 2020. There were 342 cases.

Collins said these numbers should be a wake up call to all parents.

“I feel like no one is really taking it seriously as they should,” Collins said. “A lot of people are out doing stuff, going to restaurants. Pretty much exposing themselves and children to a lot of things.”

While health officials said it’s natural for families to want to have some fun for the Labor Day weekend, they hope families take precautions seriously.

“There’s a tendency to relax, just reminding folks that we do have this out there, this Delta variant, it’s hitting our children particularly hard and to keep your guard up,” Thompson said.

The health department said its August numbers are the highest rate of COVID-19 cases in children since the pandemic started.

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