In the last several days, as Monroe County's COVID-19 infection rate has surged, roughly 12% to 14% of the new cases are in people who are 19 and younger.
Dr. Elizabeth Murray, a pediatrician at Golisano Children's Hospital, said more patients who are seeking treatment in the emergency department are testing positive for the virus.
"We went from a place of having, I believe it was the lowest rate for a city our size, to now children getting ill with COVID-19," she said.
Their symptoms range, Murray said, from mild to serious enough to require hospitalization for conditions like dehydration from vomiting. Like adults, children who have underlying medical conditions can become sicker if they have COVID-19.
Murray stressed the importance of wearing masks and practicing physical distancing, especially for young people who have the urge to get together with their friends.
"If you're going to do that, you've got to be super safe about it or just not do it right now," Murray said, "and that is so hard because the desire to be with friends is so strong in the teen years."
In a recent tweet, Murray said seeing the county's transmission rate swell after it was so low in the summer is like a punch to the gut.
She's worried that the coming weeks could bring a second wave of multi-inflammatory syndrome, a serious condition in children that appears to be linked to the novel coronavirus.