Fastest-growing COVID-19 group? Those ages 18-29

Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli issued a reminder — which was kind of a warning — about the susceptibility of those ages 18-29 to get COVID-19.

While the age group has been one of the least impacted by the pandemic, she said it now has another distinction: It’s the group with the fastest-rising number of cases.

In April, those 18-29 accounted for just 12% of all cases. In June, that percentage jumped to 22%.

“I want to especially emphasize to our young people that they are not invincible or immune to COVID-19,” she said, speaking at the state’s COVID-19 briefing Monday.

Persichilli said nearly 24,000 residents between 18-29 have been diagnosed with COVID-19. And, while most find the symptoms easier to handle, COVID-19 can have impact.

Persichilli said 730 patients in that age range have been hospitalized and 53 have died.

“People at any age can get a severe illness,” she said.

Gov. Phil Murphy stressed the warning, raising another aspect as he did: Young, asymptomatic people are still able to spread COVID-19 to older residents — potentially family members.

“You’re not immune,” Murphy said.

Murphy and Persichilli both noted that parties involving young people — both for graduations and the Fourth of July — caused an increase in cases in some situations.

Despite this, Murphy did not come out strongly about Shore activity this weekend — even though overcrowding led to at least one municipality closing its beach.

And, while the Shore attracts those of all ages, it certainly is well represented by those in the 18-29 range.

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