PHOENIX — As schools across the country continue to struggle with how to reopen safely, a new report shows cases of COVID-19 among children are on the rise and Arizona ranks among the top for the virus in kids.
The American Academy of Pediatrics report finds Arizona is number one for kids testing positive for the virus.
Michelle Capriotti who teaches high school in Chandler is concerned. Her 15-year-old son Christopher tested positive for COVID-19 in June.
“It was rough a lot of headaches, body aches,” said Capriotti.
The found so far more than 338,000 kids ages 0-19 have tested positive for the virus.
Arizona leads the nation in per-capita cases. In total cases involving children, Arizona ranks third behind California and Florida.
Dr. Frank LoVecchio with Banner Health says kids under 12 carry 10 times the concentration of COVID-19 than adults.
“Kids under 12 or so have a much higher concentration of COVID-19 in their throat, where it likes to live even though they are asymptomatic,” he explained.
LoVecchio says the virus will continue to spread if kids fail to practice CDC guidelines.
“If you believe everything else about viruses and transmission, they are more likely to spread it than adults.”
The report found when it came to testing children, Arizona’s percent positivity rate at 17.8%.
“It’s going to be difficult for schools not following the federal guidance which suggests you need a few weeks in a row under 5% before you open up,” said LoVecchio.
Capriotti is concerned if schools decide to open up with numbers the way they are now, the continued spread of the virus is inevitable.
“It doesn’t end at the classroom door. The actions that take place inside the school building will impact the community. The virus doesn’t go, 'Oh, the school day is over so now I’m done.'”
Her 15-year-old son has recovered.