COVID-19 victims appear to be getting younger and younger, health expert says

ATLANTA — Georgia's coronavirus victims seem to be getting younger and younger.

State public health officials announced on Thursday that a 7-year-old from the Savannah area became the youngest victim to die from COVID-19 in the state.

Channel 2′s Lori Wilson spoke with a metro doctor Friday about what health experts are learning about transmission of the virus among children.

Dr. Alan Einstein of Einstein Genius Care told Wilson that he helped set up test COVID sites around the metro area and continues to test young people every day.

“Starting from the teenagers up, it is rampant right now. Kids are back from the beach, back from summer vacation,” Einstein said.

The doctor said after holidays and summer breaks and vacations, a lot of the young people he's seeing are testing positive for COVID-19.

“And now they’re going to be starting high school, middle school, college,” Einstein said.

Classrooms where those kids will be in close proximity with classmates and teachers.

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According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released a week ago, after hundreds of kids tested positive for COVID-19 after spending time at an overnight camp in Rabun County, the report shared what researchers learned about COVID-19 and kids, including this.”

"Children of all ages are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection (1–3) and, contrary to early reports (5,6), might play an important role in transmission (7,8). ...Physical distancing and consistent and correct use of cloth masks should be emphasized as important strategies for mitigating transmission in congregate settings."

“My No. 1 concern is safety,” mother Sharronda Augustine said.

Augustine told Wilson that she has been working to prepare her daughter, Sage, 7, for class but understands the risks involved.

“I tried to make sure that she knows that she needs to wear her mask properly, over her nose and her mouth,” Augustine said.

While there is still much to be learned about COVID in our kids, wearing face coverings and maintaining social distance are two things doctors agree can make a difference as they learn more about this virus.

“We’re getting better each day, each week, each month,” Einstein said. “We’re getting more information and we’re being able to take care of these people more efficiently.”