Children’s Wisconsin, UW Health Kids and the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics are making a plea to Wisconsin communities: Keep kids safe and keep schools open. How? Follow public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Children’s hospitals across the country and here in Wisconsin are seeing an alarming increase of patients with COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. In fact, during the first month most kids were in school, positive cases in individuals under the age of 18 doubled.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide for kids 0-17 based on Wisconsin Department of Health Services database
|Confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide||Total||Age 0-3||Age 4-8||Age 9-13||
| Week of Sep. 12
| Week of Sep. 5
| Week of Aug. 29
| Week of Aug. 22
Week of Aug. 15
We are very concerned about this trajectory and are asking the community to stay vigilant to keep our kids and communities safe. Please continue to practice safety precautions we know to be effective in limiting the spread of disease, including:
Kids are back in school and we strongly support efforts to ensure Wisconsin kids can be in school safely. In-person instruction, sports and other extracurricular activities are essential to kids’ overall health and well-being, including their mental health. This is our plea. This is what we are fighting for. It is essential we protect our children from unnecessary exposure to COVID-19 and avoidable school closures due to workforce illnesses.
We know several schools in Wisconsin have already had to close due to a dramatic rise in COVID-19 and RSV cases. When they re-open, many will require masks. Let’s learn from their experiences. Recent research found that of the school-associated COVID-19 outbreaks, 59.2 percent happened in schools with no mask requirement, while only 8.4 percent occurred in schools that required masks. Masks work. Our hope is it’s apparent to all how important having kids wear masks is in achieving our goal of keeping kids in the classroom.
While most children who contract COVID-19 do not require hospitalization, some do. They are of course able to spread this illness to others, and there is still a lot we don’t know about the long-term effects of COVID-19. Wisconsinites care for each other. We can get in front of this and help kids continue to safely participate in activities that stimulate thinking, promote physical activity and encourage socialization.
We all have a role to play in limiting the spread of COVID-19. Following public health protocols, especially wearing masks, can reduce the spread of illness and the need for quarantine and isolation from work, school and other activities. Simply put, we need to keep kids in schools, parents and caregivers at work and our health care staff on the frontlines caring for kids. Prevention, along with vaccination, remains the most effective strategy in overcoming this pandemic.
Here is the latest COVID-19 report from Children’s Wisconsin.