By Tiffany Chan

BOSTON (CBS) – With holiday travel approaching for many families, state data shows more school-aged children coming down with COVID-19, outpacing every other age group in Massachusetts. A local epidemiologist says that’s not entirely surprising.

“The highest rate per capita is among school-aged kids, kids ages 5-9,” said Dr. Jon Levy, a Boston University professor who’s been studying the state COVID-19 data.

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The latest numbers from the state Department of Public Health shows that within the last two weeks, children ages 5-9 saw the highest positivity case rate in Massachusetts, followed by kids ages 10-14.

“There’s a lot of exposure and a lot of potential risk happening,” said Dr. Levy. “Kids who might be missing school, and, of course, kids live with adults and might be them passing on COVID to their families.”

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As it gets colder and people spend more time indoors, Tufts Medical Center Epidemiologist Dr. Shira Doron says it’s to be expected that more kids will test positive for the coronavirus.

“When you have a highly vaccinated population, those cases are going to predominantly appear in unvaccinated populations,” Dr. Doron said.

While some schools have opted to shift to remote learning to deal with the outbreaks, Dr. Doron disagrees with that approach.

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“We do need to acknowledge and celebrate the fact the one sort of piece of good news associated with this virus is that it does largely spare children the worst complications.”

Tiffany Chan