New information about the spread of the coronavirus in the US raises several alarms. The latest concerning data show:
- The number of new cases up in 22 states over the past week. The biggest jumps are in West and Midwest states, Axios reports, but Maine and New Jersey also report increases. In seven states, the jump was at least 60%. About 43,000 new cases are confirmed each day, which is 16% more than were reported week ago.
- More COVID-19 cases among people in their 20s than in any other age group. The median age has been dropping throughout the pandemic, per the Los Angeles Times. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that those in their 30s made up the second-highest number of new cases. And the CDC said young people seem to be spreading the virus to older people who are at greater risk from the disease.
None of this puts the US in a good position heading into the next few months, when transmission could increase as more people are indoors and the flu season arrives. To tame the spread, Dr. Anthony Fauci has said the number of new cases should be below 10,000 per day as fall arrives, but the nation can't keep that figure below 40,000. And it appears that young people will have to help the effort more. That's no sure thing: They're more likely to spread the virus before they feel symptoms and know they have it, and they're more likely to work and socialize in more crowded settings. There's no one-time event or other factor that explains the jump in cases, per Axios; Americans just haven't done enough to keep from giving the virus to each other. (More coronavirus stories.)