Are Coronavirus Cases in Young People Rising in Massachusetts?

Gov. Charlie Baker said the state is doing a "deep dive" into the numbers, but early data indicates the national trend is being seen here as well.

NBC Universal, Inc.

The number of people in their 20s and 30s who have been infected with the coronavirus is on the rise in many cities and towns across the country.

But what about Massachusetts?

Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday that the state is currently doing a "deep dive" on all of its test results from the past few weeks, and hopes to have more to say on this subject this week. But he said the early data does seem to indicate that more young people are being diagnosed with COVID-19 here as well.

Gov. Charlie Baker talked Wednesday about what school will look like in fall as uncertainty continues to weigh on parents.

"We have seen some of the same trends you're talking about with respect to younger people," he said when asked about the issue on Wednesday.

Photos from M Street Beach in South Boston over the weekend showed large groups of people gathered with little to no social distancing.

But on balance, the governor said the people of Massachusetts "have done all the right things," including wearing face coverings, social distancing and hygiene.

"We're doing a pretty deep dive on that data," Baker said. "We'll have more to say later this week."

New Englanders flocked to beaches in the region on a scorching mid-July day.

The New York Times reported last month that young people were making up a growing number of the new coronavirus cases in the U.S., especially in areas like Florida, Texas and Arizona that pursued rapid reopening plans.

“What is clear is that the proportion of people who are younger appears to have dramatically changed,” Joseph McCormick, a professor of epidemiology at UTHealth School of Public Health in Brownsville, told the Times. “It’s really quite disturbing.”

According to Tuesday's Massachusetts Department of Health report, 33,644, or about 30%, of the state's confirmed and probable coronavirus cases are between the ages of 20 to 39. At the height of the coronavirus surge in late April, that number was around 26%.

A new study from the CDC says that the true number of coronavirus cases in the United States may be 6 to 24 times higher than previously reported.

Baker also said Wednesday that he would do everything he can to get kids back to class in the fall, even if class looks a lot different.

"The socialization and the development issues associated with kids being in school are incredibly powerful and positive," Baker said.

Baker says the state is looking to other countries for best practices, but until the budget is figured out and it's clear whether any education relief will come from the federal government, nothing is final.

"There are still some balls that are up in the air here, and we are hoping those issues will be resolved in the next couple of weeks," Baker said.

Also on Wednesday, the governor announced the first round of grants to programs across the state aimed at helping to feed the hungry. He made the announcement after touring the Salvation Army in Lynn.

Twenty-six organizations, including farms, school meal programs and food pantries, will receive $3 million in grants through the new food security infrastructure program launched in June.

Baker said the funding is the first round to be distributed through the grant program, and applications will continue to be evaluated on a rolling basis.

Wednesday's press conference highlighted issues around food security during the COVID-19 crisis, and Salvation Army officials said it marked a milestone for their organization, which has now distributed 8 million meals in Massachusetts since March.

Two public pools will reopen Wednesday in Boston, but there are some strict changes.

Massachusetts' official coronavirus death toll rose by 17 Tuesday as 165 new cases were confirmed, health officials said.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has now confirmed 8,231 deaths and 107,221 cases.

There are an additional 79 probable cases listed in the department's daily COVID-19 report for Tuesday, adding to a total of 6,812 probable cases that have not yet been confirmed. The report also listed no deaths among the probable cases -- there have been 219 in the state.

State House News Service contributed to this report.

Contact Us