Data Shows Young People Not Vulnerable to Covid19

By Rep. Richard Nelson (R-St. Tammany) BATON ROUGE — There have been many claims recently about the increase in serious complications from COVID-19 in children under 18. I know this has alarmed many parents who have reached out to my legislative office for more information. 

On the day the Governor issued his new mask mandate, I requested that the Governor’s Office provide a breakdown of hospitalizations by age, specifically to inform the public on the impact to children. 

Ten days later, Louisiana Department of Health responded they do not track and do not know the actual number of children in the hospital with COVID-19. They could only provide me with the age breakdown of hospital admissions on a single day, August 11, which shows 13 children, approximately 3 percent of total COVID positive admissions were under 18 years of age.

Additionally, LDH’s COVID-19 Dashboard shows that 10 children under 18 have died with COVID in the 18 months of the pandemic. This represents less than 1/10th of 1% of the current total of 11,519 COVID-related deaths in Louisiana. 

Nationally, the CDC has recorded 354 deaths involving COVID-19 in children under 18 out of nearly 4.3 million recorded cases in this age group, a mortality rate of 1/100th of 1%. 

It is important to note that these deaths are of individuals who test positive for COVID-19. However, many also had serious underlying health conditions such as leukemia or severe genetic disorders.

To put these numbers in perspective, the CDC estimates that 480 children died from the flu during the 2018-19 flu season. 

For a healthy child, the risk of serious complications from a COVID-19 infection is no greater than for other common infections. 

I believe parents deserve to be informed of the actual risk COVID poses to their children. Parents —not the government — should decide what is best for their child’s health and well-being.

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