Data analysis: Coronavirus cases among people in 20s and 30s surging in Maryland

Maryland has seen a surge in coronavirus cases among people between ages 20 and 39, with young people making up more than a third of the state’s caseload and leading all other age groups in concentration of infections, a data analysis by The Baltimore Sun shows.

Cases among the 20 to 29 and 30 to 39 age brackets have climbed steadily since the beginning of May, outpacing all other groups. And cases among those in their 20s have spiked even more rapidly in the past week.

The overall share of cases among people under 40 is growing fast.

People ages 20 to 29 have contracted more than 1,400 coronavirus cases since the Fourth of July for a total case count of 11,783 as of Wednesday, a nearly 14% jump. The 30 to 39 age cohort reported 1,059 infections since the holiday, pushing their tally to 13,905, a more than 8% jump.

Cases among children between 10 and 19 years old also increased by about 14% and infections in those 9 years old and younger grew 11.5%, state data shows. Cases among people in their 40s, meanwhile, grew about 6%.

In the past week, the average daily increase in new cases among those 20-29 was 126 and those 30-39 was 97.

For comparison, among those most vulnerable to dying from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, the average daily increase in new cases was 15 among those aged 80 or older, 23 among 70 to 79 years olds, and 39 among those in their 60s.

In the two weeks between June 19 — the day that most Marylanders could start dining indoors with some restrictions — and the Fourth of July, people in their 20s and 30s experienced increases totaling more than 2,100 combined cases.

The 20-29 age group had 1,143 new cases within this timeframe, a 12.5% increase, and 30 to 39 year olds had 1,052 infections, an 8.9% increase. The growth in cases among those in their 40s, who claimed the next highest total number of cases, was about 7%.

On Wednesday, the state reported 756 new coronavirus cases, including 193 among 20-somethings and 123 among 30 somethings. Combined, those age groups account for 41.7% of the day’s new cases.

Younger adults typically experience coronavirus infection differently than older adults.

Older adults, especially people over 80, account for the majority of fatalities related to COVID-19. Still, the state reports at least 60 known deaths of people between 20 and 39, with 42 deaths of those people in their 30s.

Hallie Miller

Hallie Miller

Hallie Miller is a business and health reporter at The Baltimore Sun. She joined the audience engagement team in 2018 after graduating from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she served as an editor for The Diamondback. She is a Maryland native but is always looking for story ideas.