September COVID-19 cases among kids lower than expected

Sep 29, 2021, 7:50 PM | Updated: Sep 30, 2021, 2:12 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Going into this school year, state health officials expected a dramatic rise in COVID-19 among kids. While kids are getting sick with Covid, and some have been hospitalized, it’s not as many cases as projected.

One month ago, Covid cases among school-aged children were three times higher than at the beginning of last school year. So, the projection for cases among kids was very high for September.

“We were in the midst of a significant surge at the beginning of this school year, and still are in the midst of that surge,” said Tom Hudachko, a Utah Department of Health spokesman.

The highly transmissible Delta variant, and little masking in schools added to the high projections. 

Hudachko said the Utah Department of Health does a lot of data modeling to plan their COVID response in the community.

“We know that models are always wrong,” Hudachko said. “No model is ever right. But, they are helpful.”

Their models for September projected anywhere between 16,000 and 60,000 potential Covid cases among school-aged kids. The median was 39,000 cases, which is what the Utah Coronavirus Twitter projected August 31.

Fortunately, that number turned out lower: just over 9,200 September cases among kids ages 5-17. That’s a lot of sick kids, but far fewer than projected. So, there is guarded optimism.

“I don’t know that anybody is anywhere near close to being willing to declare victory,” Hudachko said. “But, certainly we’re moving in the right direction.”

Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley said they track COVID case numbers closely.

“Since we don’t have a ton of health expertise on that front, we were just kind of planning for a worst case scenario,” said Ben Horsley.

The district saw the numbers rise early in September and then decline over the last two weeks.

“We’ve been pleasantly surprised,” Horsley said. “Being prepared for just about the worst case scenario obviously makes sure that you’re prepared for any type of scenario.”

He said the district is hopeful the trend will continue, and that younger students will be eligible for the vaccine soon.

“We’re very pleasantly surprised that we’re not seeing more cases,” Horsley said. “(We’re) just kind of keeping our fingers crossed and being very cautiously optimistic.”

Vaccination rates vary among school kids across the state, just as they do with adults. Counties with the highest vaccination rates among adults, also have the highest rates among kids.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

FILE PHOTO (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)...
Josh Ellis

Utah doctor, others charged with running COVID vaccine scheme, issuing fake records and giving fake shots

A Utah plastic surgeon, his medical corporation and three others have been charged after prosecutors say they issued fake COVID-19 vaccination record cards and injected minors with saline shots.
13 days ago
FILE: People line up in their cars as members of the Utah National Guard give COVID-19 swab tests a...
Eliza Pace

Gov. Cox, along with 24 other governors, call on President Biden to end Federal Public Health Emergency

Gov. Spencer Cox signed a letter with 24 other governors calling on President Joe Biden to end the federal public health emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic.
1 month ago
flu shot tripledemic...
Matt Rascon

KSL+: The rise of respiratory viruses and COVID’s impact

It’s not even winter yet, and the CDC is warning that the country is experiencing a resurgence of respiratory viruses, which are taking a toll on hospitals and children.
2 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer

US clears updated COVID boosters for kids as young as 5

The U.S. on Wednesday authorized updated COVID-19 boosters for children as young as 5, seeking to expand protection ahead of an expected winter wave.
4 months ago
Alex Cabrero and Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Sandy woman shares frustration of ongoing battle with COVID-19

As life starts to return to normal from the pandemic, for millions of Americans, it still causes a daily struggle. That's the case for one Sandy woman, who shared her story Tuesday.
4 months ago
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: A pharmacist prepares to administer  COVID-19 vaccine booster sho...
Jed Boal

University Health recommends getting omicron booster and flu shot now

The CDC approved the COVID-19 bivalent boosters that target the most recent omicron variants on September 1. Since then, tens of thousands of Utahns have rolled up their sleeves.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
September COVID-19 cases among kids lower than expected