Ahead of Thanksgiving holiday, the average number of Covid-19 cases among the youth aged 0-17 years in the US midwest state of Illinois has risen from 628 to 1,020 a day in the past two weeks, which equates to a 62 per cent increase, state media reported.
To be specific, the Covid-19 cases among those aged 0-4 years rose 57 per cent; among those aged 5-11 years jumped 59 per cent; and among those aged 12-17 years soared 71 per cent.
The recent spike in cases is approaching the peak level of the fall 2021 surge for youth cases recorded on September 4, which was an average of 1,228 a day; but is notably lower than the pandemic's highest average daily tally of new youth cases, which was 1,532 recorded on November 16, 2020.
The Illinois Department of Public Health last week reported 148 youth outbreaks statewide, 124 of which were at public and private schools enrolling students in kindergarten through 12th grade, Xinhua news agency reported.
Elementary school-based vaccine clinics were launched in Chicago and the suburbs last week following the US Food and Drug Administration authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years.
As many as 6,687 Chicago Public School (CPS) students were inoculated on Friday, of which 5,849 were children aged 5 to 11-years-old. From Thursday through Saturday, nearly 13,000 CPS students got vaccinated, with 11,434 students being 5 to 11-years-old.
CPS reported 2,400 student and 679 adult cases this school year through Monday. For the week ending November 11, there was a 22 per cent increase in children's Covid-19 cases nationwide compared with two weeks ago, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children's Hospital Association.
More than 6.6 million children in the US have tested positive for Covid-19 since the onset of the pandemic, according to the Children and Covid-19 State Data Report.
Global caseload tops 254.9 mn
Meanwhile, the global coronavirus caseload has topped 254.9 million while the deaths have surged to more than 5.12 million and vaccinations to over 7.56 billion, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
In its latest update on Thursday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload, death toll and the total number number of vaccine doses administered stood at 254,918,475, 5,122,823 and 7,562,517,308, respectively.
The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 47,418,776 and 767,413, according to the CSSE.
The second worst hit country in terms of cases is India (34,466,598 infections and 464,153 deaths), followed by Brazil (21,977,661 infections and 611,851 deaths).
The other worst countries with over 5 million cases are the UK (9,724,396), Russia (9,027,163), Turkey (8,482,956), France (7,433,545), Iran (6,057,893), Argentina (5,310,334), Spain (5,067,712), Germany (5,170,121) and Colombia (5,038,544), the CSSE figures showed.
Nations with a death toll of over 100,000 are Mexico (291,241), Russia (254,229), Peru (200,695), Indonesia (143,698), the UK (143,799), Italy (132,965), Colombia (127,912), Iran (128,531), France (119,281) and Argentina (116,313).