Franklin County reports 47 COVID cases in children

Forty-seven children in Franklin County tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

The statistic was reported by Franklin County Public Health last week, and again on Monday, when an elementary school in the northern end of the county — St. Regis Mohawk School — shifted to remote learning.

In a public notice, school administrators said the shift to remote learning through Friday was because of a “significant number” of quarantined students and staff. Superintendent Stanley Harper did not immediately respond to a request for a specific number of quarantines Monday.

Not all of the 47 cases among children are at St. Regis Mohawk School, according to Franklin County Manager Donna Kissane.

“The children testing positive are from all areas of the county with the primary number of positive children stretched across the northern region,” she said Monday. “We are seeing infants to 17 year olds testing positive. Seven children tested positive (Sunday) and (Monday) … and one was vaccinated.”

As of this past Thursday, more than 5.5 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to a report released by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

Nearly 226,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 between Thursday, Sept. 9 and this past Thursday, according to the report — that’s the third highest number of new cases among children recorded in a single week since the pandemic began. In that same timeframe, children accounted for 25.7% of the new COVID-19 cases reported across the country, according to the report. Children under the age of 18 make up 22.2% of this country’s total population.

“At this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is uncommon among children,” the report reads. “However, there is an urgent need to collect more data on longer-term impact of the pandemic on children, including the ways the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects.”

Cases countywide rise

The number of positive cases of COVID-19 found in Franklin County, total, continues to rise. The county has reported more than 200 new cases of COVID-19 in the past week. The county reported just two new cases of COVID-19 around the same time last year, between Sept. 14 and Sept. 21 — weeks before COVID-19 vaccines were made widely available here, while mask requirements were still in place and before the highly contagious delta variant became the dominant strain of the virus in the U.S.

“We are seeing connections of positive cases within congregate care settings, daycares and prisons,” Kissane wrote in an email Monday.

Most of the positive cases were located in the northern end of the county as of this past Thursday, the last time the countywide COVID map showing the location of cases had been updated as of Monday afternoon. At that time, there were three positive cases in Harrietstown, six in Tupper Lake, one in Brighton, one in Franklin and zero in Santa Clara.

The health department reported 12 people hospitalized with COVID-19 between last Monday and this past Sunday.

As of Monday, 53.8% of Franklin County residents have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 49.7% have been fully vaccinated, according to the state Department of Health.

The Essex County Health Department reported 61 active cases of COVID-19 countywide on Monday, 20 of those cases new since this past Thursday. Of the new cases, zero were residents of North Elba, Keene or Wilmington, according to the health department. There were four new cases among St. Armand residents and one of the new cases was a Jay resident.

As of Monday, 65% of Essex County residents have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 60.7% have been fully vaccinated, according to the state Heath Department.


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