Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness

January 13, 2021

COVID-19 Trends Among Persons Aged 0 – 24 Years — United States



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COVID-19 cases in children, adolescents, and young adults increased since summer 2020, with weekly incidence higher in each successively increasing age group. During March 1–December 12, 2020, a total of 2,871,828 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in young people aged 0–24 years were reported in the United States, with the majority (57%) occurring among those aged 18–24 years. 52% of all cases occurred in females. Among the 1,504,165 (52%) young people with COVID-19 with complete information on race/ethnicity, 50% were non-Hispanic white, 27% were Hispanic/Latino, and 12% were non-Hispanic Black. 

The authors note that the data do not indicate that increases in incidence in adults were preceded by increases among preschool- or school-aged children and adolescents. In contrast, incidence among young adults (aged 18–24 years) was higher than that in other age groups throughout the summer and fall, with peaks that preceded increases among other age groups, suggesting that young adults might contribute more to community transmission than do younger children.

Leidman et al. (2021). COVID-19 Trends Among Persons Aged 0 – 24 Years — United States. MMWR.