COVID-19 Resource Center
COVID-19 Resource Center
October 04, 2020
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COVID-19 cases among young adults spike 55% in 1 month

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COVID-19 cases among adults aged 18 to 22 years increased 55% in the United States between August and September, according to findings published in MMWR.

“Young adults, including those enrolled in colleges and universities, should take precautions, including mask wearing, social distancing and hand hygiene, and follow local, state, and federal guidance for minimizing the spread of COVID-19,” Phillip P. Salvatore, PhD, an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer with the CDC’s COVID-19 Response Team, and colleagues wrote. “Institutions of higher education should take action to promote healthy environments.”

COVID-19 increase among adults
Source: Salvatore PP, et al. MMWR Morbid Mortal Weekly Rep. 2020;doi:10.15585.mmwr.mm6939e4.

Salvatore and colleagues analyzed patient-level COVID-19 data from health departments via standardized CDC COVID-19 case reports. They reviewed information on probable and confirmed cases of the virus between May 31, 2020, and Sept. 5, 2020, across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Weekly COVID-19 incidence among adults aged 18 to 22 years increased 55.1% nationally between Aug. 2, 2020, and Sept. 5, 2020, according to the researchers. The authors observed the highest increases in the Northeastern (144%) and Midwestern (123.4%) U.S. Within the same age group and time period, there was a 6.2% decline in case incidence in the Western U.S. and a 170.6% increase in the Northeast. Additionally, the case proportion in the same age group among non-Hispanic whites jumped from 33.8% to 77.3% between May 31, 2020, and Sept. 5, 2020.

“Transmission by young adults is not limited to those who attend colleges and universities but can occur throughout communities where young adults live, work, or socialize and to other members of their households, some of whom might be at high risk for severe COVID-19-associated illness because of age or underlying medical conditions,” the researchers wrote.