Coronavirus cases jumped among college-age people across the country in the past two months as schools began opening up, two separate studies found.
The first, from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, examined almost 100,000 coronavirus cases reported to the agency from Aug. 2 and Sept. 5 and found during that time period, weekly cases for people ages 18-22 increased 55% nationally, with the Northeast (144%) and the Midwest (123%) posting the greatest growth, CNN reported.
In the CDC’s weekly report on death and disease, researchers wrote that the increase could have been due to many behavioral changes and risk profiles from “multiple social, economic and public policy changes during this period.”
“Because approximately 45 percent of persons aged 18-22 years attend colleges and universities and 55 percent of those attending identified as white persons, it is likely that some of this increase is linked to resumption of in-person attendance at some colleges and universities,” the researchers said, CNN reported.
The second study, managed by teams at the North Carolina Department of Health and the University of North Carolina, reported what took place in real time as students returned to campus on Aug. 3. The students partying had an adverse effect, despite the university’s attempts to be safe, the study said.
As a result, classes were moved online and the university requested the students to move back home or off-campus. By Aug. 25, there were 670 COVID-19 cases, nearly all of them in people younger than 22, CNN reported.