Florida Reports Over 22,000 Children Diagnosed With Coronavirus in Past Month

The number of coronavirus cases among Florida children has increased by over 22,000 over the past month.

There were 39,735 confirmed cases in children 17 and under on August 9, according to data from the state Department of Health. This number has increased greatly over the past month, as 16,797 cases in the same group were reported on July 9.

From July 9 to August 9, the state reported at least 22,938 confirmed cases among children, an increase of 137 percent, according to the health department's data.

In addition to the rising number of cases among children, the state reported an increase in the number of their hospitalizations related to the virus. There were 213 hospitalizations of children reported on July 9 and 436 on August 9, an increase of 105 percent.

Across Florida, there are currently over 542,000 confirmed cases, including at least 536,981 positive cases among the state's residents. At least 8,553 deaths have been reported in the state.

Newsweek reached out to the Florida Department of Health for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Coronavirus in U.S.
People visit the beach in Clearwater, Florida, on May 4 after Governor Ron DeSantis opened the state's beaches. Mike Ehrmann/Getty

The increases in both cases and hospitalizations among children come as states wrestle with their decisions on reopening schools in the fall.

During a recent roundtable meeting with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, they spoke about how the risks for children contracting the virus at school remain low.

"Nothing's risk free in life," DeSantis said during the meeting. "There's nothing we can do that's going to be zero. But the risks are what I would say low for the students. The risk of the schools being real drivers of the epidemic—certainly that's not been validated in the observed experience up to this point. So in that sense, you take that and then you have to look [at] what are the costs of not offering in-person [schooling] and then make that judgment."

A state mandate requires school districts to offer in-person classes in the fall, but the Hillsborough County School District recently announced it was planning to hold virtual classes for the first four weeks of school.

In response to this decision, Corcoran wrote in a prepared statement that "the Hillsborough County School Board needs to follow the law, it's that simple."

He added, "The whole reason the Department created the emergency order was to grant districts maximum flexibility to do what is right for parents and school children. We will not stand idly by while they trample over the majority of parents who want to do right by their children."

Across the U.S. the number of coronavirus cases among children has also increased, according to a recent report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association.

The report says that across the country there were 179,990 new cases among children from July 9 to August 6. This was "a 90% increase in child cases over 4 weeks," the report stated.