Children Ages 6-11 Make Up The Most Cases Statewide

New data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows that Colorado is now in the top 15 states in the country when it comes to the highest seven-day incident of COVID-19.

While Colorado was 41st two weeks ago, now the state is 14th, and the health department said we could see another wave if we don’t slow the spread of the virus.

CBS4 asked state officials why cases are increasing, and they weren’t exactly sure. Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state epidemiologist said it could be multiple factors, like seasonal weather changes and more people staying indoors, or simply younger kids not being eligible for the vaccine. Currently kids ages 6 to 11 are seeing the most cases in the state.

“Anyone under the age of 12 years old is unvaccinated at this point, and those kids are really more at risk now due to COVID-19 and the pandemic, than they have been really since the beginning of this pandemic,” said Herlihy.

Laura Anne-Cleveland, the associate chief nursing officer at the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, said for children it all starts at home.

“We’re not done with COVID, as much as we want to be done with it, it’s not done with us, so we need to be vigilant,” Anne-Cleveland said.

Anne-Cleveland said parents can take precautions by continuing to wear masks, social distancing, and washing our hands frequently.

“The peer pressure aspect, especially if there’s going to be environments where they’re not required, they may stick out if they’re wearing masks, and being able to have those conversations with the children is really, really important,” said Anne-Cleveland.

While kids typically experience milder symptoms, doctors are seeing kids have long-term effects, and some even being put on ventilators. Anne-Cleveland said when the vaccine becomes available for younger kids, parents should act promptly to get their children signed up.

“I don’t want panic, but I do think we need to have a good understanding that COVID does affect children. It can be critical, especially if there’s any sort of immunocompromised status for these children,” Anne-Cleveland said. “When that vaccine becomes available get vaccinated, it is safe, the newest clinic research is showing how safe it is for children and that’s important.”

CBS4 asked a representative from Gov. Jared Polis’ office if we plan to close schools again because of the rise in cases in children.

A spokesperson sent this statement, “The state has no intentions of closing schools. In-person learning is critical for the health, safety and well-being of students and families. We urge parents of 12-17 years old to get their children vaccinated to protect them against COVID-19 and to minimize disruptions to in-person learning. The state is working around the clock to prepare for FDA approval of the vaccine for 5-11 years old so we can further protect our children and their access to learning.”

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