New Jersey, other states see uptick in young people infected by COVID-19

Health officials now say there are increasing concerns about young adults who have become sick with COVID-19 at a higher rate.

News 12 Staff

Jun 24, 2020, 9:26 PM

Updated 1,394 days ago

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Health officials now say there are increasing concerns about young adults who have become sick with COVID-19 at a higher rate.
Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted out a reminder to those in their late teens and early 20s that they are not invincible and are at risk of getting sick. It comes as videos posted on social media showed crowded bars at the Jersey Shore this past weekend – with many people not wearing masks.
“We’ve seen an INCREASE in the percentage of #COVID19 cases between the ages of 18-29,” Murphy tweeted, “Do the right thing. Wear a mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Don’t be a knucklehead.”
State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli says that 22% of New Jersey’s COVID-19 cases so far for the month of June are people ages 18-29. She says that in April, that age range represented just 12% of cases in the state.
Persichilli says that some of the increase can be attributed to more testing, but “while they do represent a small percentage of cases, hospitalizations and deaths, this population can spread the virus to more vulnerable populations. So, the fewer young persons who become infected, the lower the risk to the older population.”
News 12 New Jersey met a group of teens from Newark who were spending the day in Hoboken who say that they do wear masks most of the time – just not when out with close friends.
“Every time I go out in places that are crowded, I wear a mask. But with them I’m more calm,” says Marcela Ishihara.
Murphy and health officials say that they would prefer to see everyone wear masks more often, especially since as of this week more than 640 New Jersey residents between the ages of 18-29 have been hospitalized due to the virus. More than 50 people in that age range have died from COVID-19 complications.
Other states, including Florida, South Carolina and Texas, have also seen more people under 30 testing positive. Many are asymptomatic and unaware they're contributing to the spread of the virus, according to health officials.
Photos: COVID-19 Impacts the World
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