Nearly one in five new coronavirus cases in the U.S. are among people in their 20s, according to CDC’s data.
Those between the ages of 20 and 29 years old have been the largest age group of COVID-19 patients for most of the summer. This age group made up about 15 percent of positive cases in May, then grew to 20 percent in June, 23 percent in July and 21 percent of positive cases in August.
In May, COVID-19 patients were more evenly split between 20 to 59 years old, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the summer progressed, however, other age groups stayed steady or declined as the 20-to-29 age group more than doubled between May and July.
“Younger adults make up a large proportion of workers in frontline occupations (e.g., retail stores, public transit, child care, and social services) and highly exposed industries (e.g., restaurants/bars, entertainment, and personal services), where consistent implementation of prevention strategies might be difficult or not possible. In addition, younger adults might also be less likely to follow community mitigation strategies, such as social distancing and avoiding group gatherings,” CDC researchers wrote.
They also said younger adults are more likely to have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, and could unknowingly transmit the coronavirus to others.
The increase in cases among children and young adults between 10 and 19 is also sharp. In May, this age group made up 5 percent of total positive COVID-19 cases. They increased to 7 percent of cases in June, 10 percent in July and more than 11 percent of positive cases in August.
The increase in younger patients has decreased the average age of COVID-19 patients in the U.S. from 46 years old in May to 38 years old in August.
“Infection is not benign in younger adults, especially among those with underlying medical conditions, who are at risk for hospitalization, severe illness, and death,” the CDC states.
Younger children, from infants to 9-year-olds, remained 2-4 percent of total positive COVID-19 cases from May to August.
“Given the role of asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission, strict adherence to community mitigation strategies and personal preventive behaviors by younger adults is needed to help reduce their risk for infection and subsequent transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to persons at higher risk for severe illness,” the CDC report concluded.
This week, the U.S. topped 200,000 deaths from COVID-19. This is more deaths than any other country from the coronavirus.