According to data published in the CDC’s Weekly Mortality and Morbidity Report (WMMR), cases of COVID-19 spiked by as much as 55% in young adults ages 18-22 between Aug 2 and Sep 5, 2020.

The data found that increases were greatest in the Northeast (144%) and Midwest (123%) and the spikes in cases were not solely attributable to increased testing, the authors reported.

According to data collected for August 2–September 5, 2020, a total 999,579 persons with COVID-19 with case report data were reported to CDC, 15.6% of whom were aged 18–22 years. Analysis of this data found:

  • National weekly COVID-19 incidence among persons aged 18–22 years increased 62.7% during the 4-week period August 2–August 29 from 110 to 180 cases per 100,000 before declining to 171 during August 30–September 5
  • During August 2–September 5, weekly incidence increased most in the Northeast (144.0%) from 53 to 130 per 100,000, and in the Midwest (123.4%), from 111 to 247
  • Notably, in the Northeast, weekly incidence has remained below 53 cases per 100,000 in all other age groups since July 4.
  • In the South, weekly incidence among persons aged 18–22 years increased 43.8% from 115 to 166 cases per 100,000.
  • Weekly increases were smallest in the West, where incidence declined initially until August 22 and then increased through September 5, but, overall, declined 1.7% during August.
  • During August 2–September 5, the proportion of all cases per week that occurred among persons aged 18–22 years approximately doubled (2.1-fold), from 10.5% to 22.5%.

“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. Institutions of higher education should take action to promote healthy environments,” the authors concluded.

Source: Salvatore PP, et al. Recent Increase in COVID-19 Cases Reported Among Adults Aged 18–22 Years — United States, May 31–September 5, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1419–1424. DOI: