In the past month, coronavirus cases among U.S. 18- to 22-year-olds have increased by 55 percent nationwide, with the number of cases more than doubling among middle-aged students in the Northeast and Midwest, new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC ) reveal data.
When adolescents and young adults across the country returned to college last month, campuses emerged almost immediately as hotspots for COVID-19.
What President Trump has dismissed as a disease that primarily affects the elderly and sick people has become increasingly common among the youngest adults.
People between 18 and 22 have now eclipsed all other age groups because they have the highest rate of weekly cases.
Middle-aged people were responsible for the smallest percentage of all COVID-19 cases in the US at the end of July.
Their share of weekly cases has increased from about 10 percent in late July to more than 20 percent of all US cases in late August.
The timing is undeniable. Most colleges welcomed students back to campus in early August, where many would live together near dormitories or apartments.
Middle-aged Americans (18-22, black line) are now responsible for the highest number of new weekly coronavirus cases of any age group in the U.S., the CDC reports
Immediately, cases of coronavirus shot up among 18 to 22 year olds.
Between August 2 and September 5, 999,579 new cases of coronavirus were reported to the CDC.
Nearly 16 percent of those newly diagnosed people were between the ages of 18 and 22.
The increase in cases in August escalated most sharply in those first hectic weeks after the schools reopened.
Between August 2 and August 29, the number of infected middle-aged people exploded by 62 percent.
Student unions and fraternities were reprimanded for hosting parties that were like petri dishes in which the coronavirus could thrive and hopped from host to host.
Hundreds of colleges rushed to change or cancel their planned reopenings. Quarantine dormitories were set up and quickly filled with students suspected of having COVID-19.
Other schools sent sick students home to isolate themselves from their parents and families, despite insistence from health officials such as Dr. Anthony Fauci that this was the worst thing to do, in case the students passed the infection on to their older, more vulnerable family members.
Hundreds of US colleges had to roll back their plans for personal learning weeks after welcoming students back as poor adherence to social distance and mask wearing triggered a coronavirus outbreak (file)
As schools got serious about social distancing – or opted for distance learning – the number of new cases among young adults declined slightly, with a more modest 171 cases per 100,000 people, compared to the previous record of 180 cases, 100,000 18- to 22 year olds.
The Northeastern US – the region most densely populated with colleges and home to Ivy League schools – and the US were the hardest hit. The number of new weekly cases there rose by 144 percent from Aug. 2 to Sept. 5.
In the Midwest, the seat of anti-mask sentiment in the US, middle-aged people got the coronavirus 123 percent higher weekly in September than in early August.
The number of cases rose in the south by 43 percent relatively subtly and in the west even by 1.7 percent. However, it is worth noting that the number of general tests being done in the West has also declined.
In all regions, the CDC was clear: It wasn’t just test increases that pushed up the number of cases among 18- to 22-year-olds. The number of cases increased 2.1-fold and testing among the age group increased only 1.5-fold.
While among adults and children of other age groups, Black and Hispanic Americans were more likely to contract coronavirus, the strongest increase in the number of cases among middle-aged Americans from August to September peaked at nearly 150 percent among Caucasians.
Since the beginning of August, whites between the ages of 18 and 22 have seen by far the greatest increase in the number of new cases (left) and have accounted for a convenient majority (right) of new cases. Since most students are white, this suggests to the CDC that returning to campus was one of the main drivers of the rise
Since about 45 percent of those ages 18-22 attend colleges and universities, and 55 percent of those in attendance are identified as white, it is likely that some of this increase is related to the resumption of in-person attendance some colleges and universities, ”the CDC researchers wrote.
To prevent cases on campuses and a wider spread within communities, it is critical that students, faculty and staff at colleges and universities remain vigilant and take measures to reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in these environments .
Young adult transmission is not limited to those attending colleges and universities, but can occur in communities where young adults live, work, or socialize and to other members of their household, some of whom may be at high risk for severe COVID-19. -related illness due to age or underlying medical conditions. ‘
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