COVID-19 cases among youth remain low, CDC studies show

Updated: Jan. 15, 2021 at 4:50 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said even with in-person learning, cases among younger students remain low.

“Younger kids are sort of rule followers, they tend to be spread out in the classrooms which is probably less of an issue,” said Infectious Disease Expert, Dr. Steve Threlkeld.

However, the CDC said in order to safely re-open schools, community transmission must be under control.

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“Obviously if the community transmission is rampant and really high it puts everybody more at-risk including kids and it makes them more likely to get it - they are more likely to have very few symptoms,” Threlkeld said.

This week, E.A Harrold Elementary in Millington moved to virtual learning after two staff members tested positive for COVID-19 and five are quarantined due to potential exposure.

WMC Action News 5 took a look at COVID-19 data for schools around the County.

Collierville Schools posted that as of Friday, the district has 29 students with positive COVID-19 cases.

According to the Tennessee Department of Education, this week’s COVID-19 dashboard confirmed Bartlett Schools has nine new cases, Germantown Municipal School District has 28 new cases, and Lakeland School system has 18 cases, all up from zero last week.

Shelby County Schools is doing remote learning and reported no new cases the past two weeks while Arlington Community Schools reported no new data.

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The CDC reports there are limitations to this data as COVID-19 cases are underestimated among young people, and case trends among teachers and school staff are not available.

Dr. Threlkeld said because younger children tend to be asymptomatic, it’s important for them to wear masks while at school to limit the spread to adults.

“We think it’s safer for kids to be in school than we used to by a longshot, but we certainly have to be careful of folks where the community transmission is really high is getting it and kids taking it home,” said Dr. Threlkeld.

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