Test Positivity is 31% for Florida Kids

July 16, 2020 12:45 p.m.

This is a remarkable statistic I had not seen. 31.1% of Florida children (people under 18) who have been tested for COVID have been positive. That is about three times higher than the rest of the population.

It’s not entirely clear what to make of this statistic. Only about 50,000 people under the age of 18 have been tested, out of about 2.8 million tests in the state. So it seems quite possible that the percentage is so high because the kids who are being tested are either clearly symptomatic or living with parents who are positive. In other words, an artifact of the testing protocol itself. Still, it’s a high number. And the public health director in Palm Beach County is warning that we simply don’t know what kind of long term damage these infections could be doing.

Dr. Alina Alonso, Palm Beach County’s health department director told county commissioners: “They are seeing there is damage to the lungs in these asymptomatic children. … We don’t know how that is going to manifest a year from now or two years from now. Is that child going to have chronic pulmonary problems or not?”

It is still more evidence that the only sensible, ethical and economically sound policy is to drive this disease into minimal numbers until we have a treatment or vaccine. It is possible. We’ve seen it happen. Indeed, we’ve seen it basically everywhere but in the US.

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