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Coronavirus Cases Increase for Those 35 and Under

Coronavirus Cases Increase for Those 35 and Under

July 17, 2020

Media Contact:
Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – In Howard County, data paints a generally positive picture in the fight against COVID-19. More than 11% of the Howard County population has been tested, with a positivity rate of 3.6%, meaning that of those tested, only 3.6% are actually found to have the virus. However, a disturbing trend in the data is emerging. Epidemiologists are seeing an increase in the number of positive cases among those 35 years of age and younger.

Originally believed to be a group that would be less likely to be affected by the virus than seniors, cases in younger adults have increased two-fold during the end of June into July. Data showed that for Howard County residents ages 35 and under, the case count increased by 111%, from 45 the week of June 21 to 95 the week of July 5, compared to a 33% increase among those 36 and older during the same period.

“The recent increase of COVID-19 cases amongst younger adults in Howard County is concerning, “said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “Over the past month, since beginning the re-opening process, we have seen many positive trends that demonstrate our efforts and approaches are working. However, with a virus this aggressive, and with treatments and vaccines still months away, we do not have room to be nonchalant and must remain vigilant. It is absolutely imperative that our young adults adhere to the guidance on physically distancing, wearing face coverings, and avoiding large gatherings.”

“Younger adults often exhibit more risky behavior than their older counterparts,” said Dr. Maura J. Rossman, Howard County Health Officer. “Frequenting places and events where there is less attention to non-pharmaceutical interventions like mask wearing and social distancing can result in increased spread of the virus. Those individuals may then carry the virus home to older adults who are the most vulnerable.”

To change the trajectory of this trend among younger people it is critical to follow the common interventions that have been recommended by the CDC and the Maryland Department of Health. Those interventions include avoiding large gatherings, wearing a mask or face covering, frequent hand washing (or use of hand sanitizer), maintaining a social distance of six feet from others and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.  

For more information about how to prevent the spread of the coronavirus visit the Howard County Health Department website at