The DelCo Times has a short article today highlighting the rise in cases among the young. The numbers don’t look good. The positivity rate has risen from 6.3% to 6.8%, the incident rate is 117 per 100k, although the article doesn’t give the units for this number. 117 what per 100k? Per day? Per week? On PA’s Covid dashboard, DelCo is currently hovering around 100 cases per day so I’m guessing the DelCo Times number is cases per 100k per week. At these rates last year all school’s would have been closed. Cases among younger adults and children are driving these rises,
O’Mahony said young cases are substantially increasing.
“Cases are 10 times higher than at this time last year,” she said. “There’s been a threefold increase in cases just in the period since Aug. 16 both in the county and Pennsylvania.”
Across the state, hospitalizations for those between 0 and 17-years-old increased from 0.1 to 0.3 over the past month, O’Mahony said, adding that the majority of COVID cases are in the 20 to 29-year-old age group…
From Sept. 1 through Sept. 8, the highest numbers of COVID emergency room visits in Pennsylvania are in the 12-to-15-year-old age group.
The DelCo Times article states that under 10% of ICU beds in the county are available now. Parents are starting to get reports from the school district of cases in the high school. Three students and one staff member have been reported thus far – but these infections likely occurred before the start of school. We probably don’t yet have any idea of the effect of students returning to school. Its also likely we do not have a complete picture as few students are being tested, so its not clear how we would know how extensive transmission is. At Swarthmore College, with almost everyone vaccinated and tested, initial positive results have been low. Wear masks, get vaccinated, it absolutely does work.
In my school board notes, I reported the superintendent’s note that reported vaccination numbers are low. But I’ve heard from parents that uploading vaccination records to the school district has been difficult so its likely there’s a disconnect between how many students the district thinks are vaccinated vs. the number that actually are. But even then, its unlikely to be anywhere close to the numbers at Swarthmore College due to the college’s vaccine mandate.
My son reported to me that masking compliance on the school busses is poor. As students are unable to space out and there seems to be no documented seating arrangements, its not clear to me how virus spread is being controlled on the school’s transportation. It seems unlikely bus drivers alone can police behavior on buses while driving. The outdoor lunch spaces seem to have been very successful, however. Let’s hope for continued nice weather.