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Knox near bottom of Tennessee’s list of 10 counties with highest COVID-19 cases in school-age children

While Knox County ranks seventh, Knox County is the third-largest county in Tennessee behind Shelby and Davidson, and it still has fewer COVID-19 cases in children than smaller counties like Hamilton, Rutherford, Williamson and Sumner, according to the list.
FILE - In this Tuesday, July 14, 2020 file photo, Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19,...
FILE - In this Tuesday, July 14, 2020 file photo, Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, teachers check students before a summer STEM camp at Wylie High School in Wylie, Texas. Not knowing if children are infected makes it difficult for schools to reopen safely, many experts say. Scarce data on whether infected children _ including those without symptoms _ easily spread the disease to others complicates the issue, said Jeffrey Shaman, a Columbia University infectious disease specialist.(AP Photo/LM Otero)
Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 7:24 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 24, 2020 at 8:06 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/WTVF) - Knox County ranks number 7 on a list of the top 10 counties in Tennessee for COVID-19 cases among school-age children. With 234 confirmed cases, Knox County ranks number 7 out of the top 10 Tennessee counties, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

As officials across the state debate terms for reopening public and private schools, the TDH released new data for COVID-19 cases among children ages 5-18. Officials said, 7,572 children, have tested positive for the virus, only 234 of those kids were out of Knox County as of July 24.

While Knox County ranks seventh, Knox County is the third-largest county in Tennessee behind Shelby and Davidson, and it still has fewer COVID-19 cases in children than smaller counties like Hamilton, Rutherford, Williamson and Sumner, according to the list.

On Friday, Knox County health officials said while the numbers are growing for COVID-19 cases in children ages 0-10, cases in that age group are so low, any increase will appear large. Dr. Martha Buchanan confirmed there were no trends in Knox County that point towards an increase in COVID-19 cases among children.

The following counties had the highest case county for school-age children:

  • Shelby: 1,478
  • Davidson: 1,451
  • Hamilton: 586
  • Rutherford: 488
  • Williamson: 301
  • Sumner: 296
  • Knox: 234
  • Putnam: 200
  • Wilson: 169
  • Bradley: 151

According to the data, only three deaths have been reported among Tennessee children.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams told CBS This Morning a community’s COVID-19 transmission rate is the most important determinant of whether children can spread the virus throughout the community, Nashville CBS affiliate WTVF reported.

“It’s why we have told people constantly that if we want to get back to school, to worship, to regular life, folks need to wear face coverings. Folks need to practice social distancing,” Adams said.

Adams said other countries have been able to safely reopen schools “with minimal to no transmission among young people, particularly people under the age of 10 or 12,” due to having low background transmission rates.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended officials reopen schools if they determine that it can be done in a way that is safe for both students and staff.

Knox County health officials said they when schools reopen they will not report specific cases by the school. All cases will be included in the general report.

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