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WEDNESDAY, Sept. 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — During Aug. 2 to Sept. 5, 2020, there was a 55.1 percent increase in the weekly incidence of COVID-19 nationally among young adults aged 18 to 22 years, according to research published in the Sept. 29 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Phillip P. Salvatore, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined recent trends in COVID-19 cases among adults aged 18 to 22 years using data from jurisdictional health departments.

The researchers found that the weekly incidence of COVID-19 increased by 55.1 percent nationally among persons aged 18 to 22 years during Aug. 2 to Sept. 5; the greatest increases were seen in the Northeast and Midwest U.S. Census regions (144.0 and 123.4 percent, respectively). There was variation noted in changes in testing volume in this age group during the same period, from a 6.2 percent decrease in the West to a 170.6 percent increase in the Northeast. During May 31 to Sept. 5, 2020, the proportion of cases in this age group increased from 33.8 to 77.3 percent among non-Hispanic Whites.

“Mitigation and preventive measures targeted to young adults (e.g., social media toolkits discussing the importance of mask wearing, social distancing, and hand hygiene), including those attending colleges and universities, can likely reduce severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 transmission among their contacts and communities,” the authors write. “Institutions of higher education should support students and communities by taking action to promote healthy environments.”

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