The Corner

Health Care

Kids and COVID Risk

The CDC is expected to make changes to their guidance about mask-wearing and children at summer camp; currently that expectation is that they will allow vaccinated children over twelve to take off masks outdoors. This would barely bring kids into line with guidance for adults who are vaccinated.

I’m glad however to see that mainstream publications are starting to push back. David Leonhardt has pointed out that CDC’s guidance relies on wild overestimations of the risks of COVID transmission among children.

The Washington Post today has a fantastic op-ed recommending a full return to normal for children in summer camps and schools, regardless of their vaccination status. Tracy Beth Høeg, Lucy McBride, Allison Krug, and Monica Ghandi sum up the evidence of the current risks to kids: 

This low risk for children nearly vanishes as cases plummet. As we saw in Israel and Britain, vaccinating adults indirectly protects children. The same trend is evident here in the United States: Adult vaccination has lowered covid-19 incidence among children by 50 percentin the past four weeks. On average, fewer than 0.01 percent of Americans are currently infected, and the chance of an asymptomatic person transmitting to a close contact is about 0.7 percent. That yields a scant 0.00007 percent chance that any close contact will transmit infection to a child. If the contact is outdoors, the risk appears to be more than 1,000 times lower.

In other words, there is no risk for maskless children outdoors at summer camp.


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