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Experts warn young people to do their part to slow the spread

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) - The median age in the state for a positive coronavirus test is now younger than 40. The lower age in Minnesota than the national average, 48 years old, is due in part to an increase in cases between the ages 20 and 39.

While younger people fight off the virus quicker, they could be keeping it around for others who cannot.

"I'll be very consistent and I'll say it yet again. You should not congregate in crowds," said Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

However with nice weather and reopenings, crowds are starting to form.

"I think all of us are eager to be out and about. We just have to make sure we're doing that in a cautious and thoughtful manner," said Kari Ehresmann, Minnesota Department of Health infectious disease director.

It means people need to take extra precautions.

"Plan A: Don't go in crowds," said Fauci. "Plan B: If you do, wear a mask."

Certain crowds are being linked to an increase in cases in Minnesota.

"Bar and restaurant activity," said Ehresmann. "We're seeing some increases in disease in south central Minnesota in young adults in their 20s."

People between ages 20 and 39 make up less than 1 percent of total coronavirus deaths in Minnesota but almost 40 percent of total cases.

"They could be a risk factor for someone else," Ehresmann said. "Even though they might not be at risk for complications, they can catch COVID as easily as someone else and spread it inadvertently. I don't think that's something they want to do."

Contact tracing is finding the potential spread is even more concerning when accounting for workplaces of many in their 20s.

"These individuals then happen to work in childcare or healthcare," said Ehresmann.

If you are at a bar or restaurant you feel is too crowded inside, experts recommend sitting outside if possible or hangout with only a few people.

"The small group that's important to you and you can do it in a setting where you're able to fully socially distance and maintain attentiveness to socially distancing," advises Ehresmann. "That is certainly better."

More than 52 percent of total cases in Minnesota are now related to community spread.


According to the CDC, symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

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