Minnesota health officials: Increased social activity shows COVID-19 impact on all ages

Minnesota is seeing more COVID-19 cases throughout different age groups, due to increased social activity, according to the Minnesota Health Department.

The impact of broader gatherings without social distancing is seen in the increase in COVID-19 cases among middle-aged adults, Infectious Disease Division Director Kris Ehresmann said Monday afternoon in the state’s COVID-19 press conference.

As people’s activity increases, there is more information about who is getting the virus.

“Now we’re at a place where we’ve had more opening up within the state, and we’re seeing many more people of all ages engage in more social activities and more interactions,” Ehresmann said. “We’re seeing this evolution of who is getting COVID because of the evolution of our activity.”

Initially, MDH focused testing in “the most vulnerable group of individuals who were in congregate care settings,” which showed higher rates of COVID-19 in older communities. As more workplace outbreaks happened, more adults tested positive, which widened the age range of people testing positive for COVID-19.

A spike of COVID-19 cases in young people in their 20s was linked to bar and restaurant outbreaks. Now, numbers are showing more cases in middle-aged adults, but the reason is not as specific.

“As we see cases in individuals who are a little bit older, what we’re seeing is the impact of broader gatherings, whether it’s get-togethers, family get-togethers, people who are enjoying the summer and not social distancing,” Ehresmann said. 

As of Monday, 20-29 year olds account for the largest percentage of Minnesota's COVID-19 cases at approximately 23 percent, followed by 30-39 year olds at 18 percent, 40-49 year olds at 14 percent, 50-59 year olds at 13 percent and 6-19 year olds at 10 percent.