Coronavirus cases among young adults are on the rise, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there is an “urgent need” to address the trend.
In a study released on Friday, the CDC examined 767 hotspot counties identified during June and July and found that increases in the percent of positive tests among people 24 and younger were followed by several weeks of increasing positivity rates in those aged 25 and older. The trend was particularly true in the South and West.
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Making the findings even more concerning is the fact that a jump in the positivity rate of older age groups is “likely to result in more hospitalizations, severe illnesses, and deaths,” according to CDC.
“There is an urgent need to address transmission among young adult populations, especially given recent increases in COVID-19 incidence among young adults,” the study said.
CDC published a separate, small study on Friday that identified common drivers of behavior that might influence risk for COVID-19 exposure among young adults in Wisconsin. The list included: social or peer pressure, perceived severity of disease outcome and exposure to misinformation, conflicting messages or opposing views regarding masks.
During interviews, young adults said they felt social or peer pressure to not wear a mask and reported receiving “negative reactions” or “odd looks” from people while wearing a mask.
The study said the finding “further underscores the importance of providing clear and consistent messages regarding need for and effectiveness of masks.”
Last week, CDC reported that coronavirus infections among young adults jumped from August to September, with the agency concluding that some of the increase was likely due to colleges and universities resuming in-person classes.