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New numbers show some children tested positive for coronavirus in Southeastern CT

New London

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH)– Southeastern Connecticut has fewer coronavirus cases than much of the rest of the state. But some young people in that area have tested positive, including a one-year-old.

As playgrounds remain off limits to children, the reality that kids can be affected by the coronavirus are reflected in recent numbers released by the Ledge Light Health District.  

Those show children as young as one in New London, nine in Groton, and just last week 11 in East Lyme, have tested positive for COVID-19.

“But I think we are all reassured that children are by far in a way not in the line of fire of this illness,” said Lawrence & Memorial Hospital’s Dr. Craig Mittleman.

He says while it is concerning to see kids affected, the numbers are low.

“It’s less than one percent,” said Dr. Mittleman.

For the most part their symptoms are mild to moderate.

“Maybe some shortness of breath, cough, runny nose, fever,” said Dr. Mittleman. “They could have diarrhea.”

He is not seeing many kids come into the emergency department, let alone ones with coronavirus symptoms.

Because many of the kids are also asymptomatic, meaning they don’t show any signs of the disease, having them no longer play with each other on playgrounds may help stop them from unwittingly spreading the disease to each other and unknowingly bringing it home to their families, where there may be people who are more vulnerable.

Dr. Mittleman says it is important to continue good hand hygiene at home, as well as covering up coughs and sneezes, just in case someone in your house gets sick.

“It’s really good to do regular wipe downs to make sure that you’re not only courteous to the people who live around you, but to the people who live in your own household,” said Dr. Mittleman.

The New London hospital has not seen any children with the mysterious inflammatory syndrome thought to be associated with COVID-19.

“The good news is when kids get it, there are treatments,” said Dr. Mittleman.

He says there are regularly scheduled vaccines children should still get as soon as they can.

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