25 Investigates: Young adults leading source of new COVID-19 cases in Mass., with 9 deaths in Dec.

BOSTON — The number of young people contracting COVID-19 in Massachusetts went from several hundred to thousands in less than 6 months. We’re talking about people ages 20 to 30. 25 Investigates has been digging into the state data and discovered this trend.

Anchor and investigative reporter Kerry Kavanaugh found not only are the cases rising, December saw an increase in deaths. To be fair, the case numbers and deaths among young adults are still far less than those among the state’s senior population. But local doctors are very worried about the spike in cases, especially in the middle of this second surge.

“I think this is just yet another sign, as if we needed one, that this epidemic has spun out of control,” said Mark Siedner MD, MPD an infectious disease doctor and researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital. While young people still tend to get less sick with the virus, Siedner says these numbers should be a wake-up call.

“Just like no one is immune to getting COVID- 19, no one is immune to dying of COVID-19,” Siedner told Kavanaugh.

And the cases among young adults have spiked in recent weeks. 25 Investigates examined state data going back August, 2020. Cases among people ages 20-30 held steady through November. That’s when they began climbing, then spiking in December.

The raw numbers show in early August there were 864 cases in this age group reported over a two-week period.

During the two-week period ending December 16th, numbers surged to 13,346 cases.

Some of these cases are very serious. From August 1st through December 31st, 21 people in this age group died after contracting COVID-19. 9 of those deaths, or 42.8%, were reported in December alone.

State data do not detail whether the individuals suffered any pre-existing conditions.

And, deaths among people ages 20-30 still pale in comparison to the number of deaths among Massachusetts seniors. But these are lives lost just as the new year brought hope for an end to the pandemic.

“These aren’t just statistics. We see young people die at our hospital. These are teachers, these are nurses. these are firefighters dying of a totally preventable illness,” Siedner said.

On Tuesday’s COVID-19 dashboard produced by the Department of Public Health, people ages 20-30 accounted for 9,907 new COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks.

Young adults are leading the pack in new cases in the state.

Download the free Boston 25 News app for up-to-the-minute push alerts

>> Complete local and national coronavirus coverage here


- Complete local and national coronavirus coverage here

- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter | Watch Boston 25 NOW

- Download our free apps for your phone and smart TV