COVID-19 cases increasing among pediatric patients

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are surging throughout Oregon. According to OHA’s latest Pediatric COVID-19 Report, cases are on the rise for children, too.

A look at the case numbers

OHA’s Pediatric COVID-19 Report provides a high-level overview of Oregon’s COVID-19 data for individuals ages 17 and younger. The newest report includes cases with onset dates through Aug. 14. 

As with COVID-19 cases overall, pediatric COVID-19 case counts have increased dramatically since July. In total, there have been 31,394 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 among people ages 17 and younger, which makes up about 12.7% of Oregon’s total COVID-19 cases.

You can take a more in-depth look at how case counts for this age group have changed over time below.

Within this age range, COVID-19 case rates are highest among people ages 12–17.

COVID-19 illness does not appear to be more severe for pediatric patients

The latest pediatric report also reveals that, while most individuals ages 17 and younger (57.1%) continue to report symptoms of COVID-19, the proportion of people reporting symptoms hasn’t increased over time.

And even though most individuals in this age group experience symptomatic COVID-19, severe outcomes are rare:

  • 0.9% of pediatric patients have been hospitalized at some point during their COVID-19 illness.
  • Two pediatric COVID-19 patients have died.
  • Forty pediatric patients with COVID-19 have also experienced multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) — a condition that induces fever, multisystem involvement (cardiac, renal, respiratory, hematologic, gastrointestinal, dermatologic or neurologic) and inflammation.

Hospitalizations among individuals ages 17 and younger remain rare. At time of publication, less than two in 100,000 individuals were ever hospitalized with COVID-19 among all age groups in the pediatric range. OHA will continue to monitor for trends in hospitalizations among pediatric patients. The chart below shows the rate of hospitalized pediatric COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people by week of onset.

Cases in pediatric patients largely linked to household spread

In creating the Pediatric COVID-19 Report, OHA’s epidemiologists also study the “epidemiologic characteristics” of pediatric COVID-19 cases — the people or places that identified COVID-19 cases have in common. There are four different “links” that people with confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases are asked about in interviews:

  • Close Contact: Exposed to a known COVID-19 case outside of your home
  • Cluster: Exposed to COVID-19 outside of your home, but uncertain of when and where
  • Household: Exposed to known COVID-19 case inside your home
  • Outbreak: Exposed to COVID-19 in an event, workplace or congregate setting

The most common epidemiologic link for pediatric cases is “household.” The higher proportion of household links in this age group may be due in part to increased testing among people who live with a COVID-19 case.


Oregon’s recent rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations has caused the state to reinstate many of the tried and true safety measures used throughout the pandemic. (You can read more about what new measures have gone into effect here.)

By following these safety measures, we can both slow the spread of COVID-19 and help protect Oregon’s children ages 11 and younger who are at risk for COVID-19 and unable to get vaccinated.

If you are 12 or older, you can get vaccinated against COVID-19. Parents of children ages 12–17 can consult this FAQ document for answers to some basic vaccine questions for this age group.

If you have questions about the vaccine’s safety or effectiveness, we encourage you to talk with your trusted health care provider or consult the information we’ve put together on OHA’s COVID-19 Vaccine webpage. When you’re ready, you can visit OHA’s Find a COVID-19 Vaccine in Oregon webpage to schedule a vaccine appointment.