A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that 3.3 million seniors live with school-age children.
The report finds that 6% of people ages 65 and older live with at least one child age 5-18. Nearly 4.1 million children live with seniors.
Those age 65 and older are the most vulnerable to COVID-19. Almost 8 in 10 deaths from COVID-19 were among those age 65 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Trump administration has been pushing hard in recent weeks to have schools open for the school year beginning in fall 2020. At one point, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos threatened to withhold federal funds from schools that did not open, although she later backed away from that position.
It’s not clear whether children are potent transmitters of the coronavirus. Evidence suggests that the virus does not spread easily among young people. While there are documented outbreaks in places such as day care centers, studies from both Australia and the Netherlands show children have played a small role in transmitting the virus.
This could be because of ACE-2 enzyme differences in children and adults. The coronavirus spreads in the body by attaching to ACE-2, but research suggests the enzyme is not as active in children.