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Connecticut doctors concerned about skyrocketing COVID-19 infections in kids

In July, 4.2 million kids contracted COVID nationally, which accounts for approximately one-fifth of our nation's total cases for the month.

NORTH HAVEN, New Haven — Of the 613,000 COVID-associated deaths nationwide, 534 have been kids ages 17 and under. Still, the number of kids contracting COVID in recent weeks is alarming to local doctors. 

Dr. Thomas Murray, a Yale Medicine pediatrics infectious disease specialist, says that while the jury is still out on whether the Delta variant actually makes kids sicker, something has changed. 

“Certainly, the number of kids we have admitted in the last few weeks again not knowing for sure if they’ve had the Delta variant, some of them have been quite sick and required intensive care unit,” said Murray. 

One person under the age of 18, was hospitalized with COVID in Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital as of Thursday morning. Since the start of the pandemic, of the nearly 8,300 COVID-associated deaths in Connecticut, four have been in the under 20 age group. 

“Fortunately, COVID has spared children, for the most part, in that they tend not to get as sick as adults and that has held true through the summer,” said Murray. 

In July, 4.2 million kids contracted COVID-19 nationally, which accounts for approximately one-fifth of our nation's total cases for the month. However, kids attending New Haven's summer camps aren't missing a beat. 

“I actually got my first vaccination shot this week and it didn’t hurt that bad,” said rising high school freshman Taraji Carter-Gore of New Haven.  

“My mom didn’t want me to get it (the vaccine) at least yet before it’s been tested for long periods of time,” said Alexander Oquendo, also a rising 9th grader. 

These kids are among the 400 or more participating in the Elm City's summer camps. Reducing the size of or altering the camps in any way was never even considered. 

“The youth have to wear masks while indoors,” said Gwendolyn Busch Williams, Director of New Haven Youth & Recreation. “If they are outside, they are able to take their masks off. And we keep up with the social distancing inside.” 

Oquendo says, “I’ve gotten used to them and I’m very excited to actually be in a stable school setting again. 

“By coming to camp being here with all my friends, it was really good for me,” Carter-Gore said, with a smile, adding that the camp has been wonderful from the socioemotional side of things. 



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