Highest rates of COVID-19 in WA now in ages 20-24

VIDEO: Health officials concerned that young people are rapidly spreading COVID

WASHINGTON — In the last two weeks, the highest rates of COVID-19 have occurred in those 20 to 24 years of age, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

State health officials worry young adults are transmitting the virus to those at risk in the population.

A COVID-19 outbreak hit Greek Row earlier this month, and UW Medicine set up a testing facility on campus.

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So far, the University of Washington reported 147 students living on Greek Row or socializing with students who live there contracted the coronavirus. Across all three UW campuses, the school reported another 63 students tested positive.

“We are reporting the numbers of known positive cases among students, faculty and staff as a matter of transparency and for our community’s awareness, but there is no known connection between these positive cases and any work or instruction on campus, and in most cases the positive results we’re aware of have come from individuals who have not been on campus for weeks or months,” said Victor Balta, senior director for media relations at the University of Washington.

In the last two weeks, the highest statewide rates of COVID-19 occurred in young adults aged 20 to 24.

“Even if they are not as worried about getting particularly sick, it’s incredibly important they continue to wear masks, observe social distancing, and wash their hands,” said Lisa Brandenburg, president of UW Medicine. “We need to protect the people most at risk.”

Right now, UW Medicine has 38 COVID-19 patients across its four hospitals. During the peak in March, it had around 120 patients.

State health officials expect hospitalizations and deaths to follow the spike in cases among young adults.

Health officials are asking young adults to limit contact with members of the community most at risk.

The University of Washington plans to have only 10% of classes for undergraduates on campus in the fall; the rest will be online. The school expects to release more definitive plans next week.