N.Y. Reexamines Schools, Camps Amid Rise in Child Illnesses

(Bloomberg) -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo canceled in-class summer school amid concerns about the rising number of children with a coronavirus-related illness.

State officials also are reexamining whether to allow day camps in light of the inflammatory disease that’s thought to be related to Covid-19, Cuomo said Thursday at his daily virus briefing. New York is investigating 157 cases of the illness, with reports in a total of 25 states and 13 countries, Cuomo said.

Though the number of cases is small compared to the total of 356,458 Covid-19 infections statewide, they are of concern because children were previously thought to be largely immune from the virus, the governor said.

“We know it exists,” the governor said of the illness. “We don’t know how widespread it is. But the more we look, the more we find it.”

Classes can be conducted through distance learning over the summer. It’s “still too early” to make a determination on whether schools and colleges will be able to open for in-person classes in September, Cuomo said. The state will issue guidance for schools in June.

Just 1% of New Yorkers who have been hospitalized for Covid-19 related illness were under 20 years old, according to state data. But of the 157 reported cases of the virus-related illness, 90% tested positive for Covid-19. The symptoms of the illness are similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock-like syndrome and may include fever, abdominal pain, trouble breathing, change in skin color and lethargy.

“Until we have this answer on this pediatric syndrome, as a parent, until I know how widespread this is, I would not send my children to day camp,” Cuomo said. “And if I won’t send my children to day camp, I wouldn’t ask anybody else to send their children to day camp.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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