TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As Florida continues to report record single-day coronavirus case increases, the confirmed cases in younger populations also continues to surge.
Dr. Jason Salemi, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of South Florida, has been keeping a close eye on the coronavirus trends. And this week he’s noticed something significant.
Friday set a record in the 19 or younger age group: 1,147 children alone tested positive for coronavirus.
“When I drill down to the 0 to 19 population, I notice we have over 1,100 cases for the second day in a row, and it’s the highest number of cases among 0 to 19 that we’ve ever had in Florida,” Salemi said.
He also noted that the case positivity rate is skyrocketing. In Friday’s numbers, among young Floridians, it was 24.4 percent. That means about one in four children tested were positive.
It all raises big concerns of how children will be able to return to school in the fall.
“If you let this virus run wild… then what happens to the teachers? If you’re not testing and preventing this from going crazy in the schools and the teachers get sick, then what do we do? Do we keep bringing in temporary teachers and then they get sick too?” he said.
Salemi told 8 On Your Side he still believes kids need to return to school, but there needs to be some serious discussions about how it’s done to keep everyone safe.