According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while seniors are most vulnerable to the coronavirus COVID-19, young adults in the United States make up a large portion of those infected and hospitalized. 

In the new report issued on Wednesday (March 18), the CDC analyzed the first 2,500 people diagnosed in the U.S. and found that while adults in their 60s, 70s, and 80s were most likely to be admitted and die from the virus, 38 percent of the 580 people hospitalized were younger adults—ranging between the ages of 20 and 54. In addition, nearly half of the 121 patients who were admitted to intensive care units were under the age of 65, the New York Times noted

Scrutinizing the date even more, 20 % of those hospitalized and 12 % of those who were treated in the ICU were between the ages of 20-44. 

Stephen S. Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, stressed to the Times that this data proves that millennials and older Gen Z’ers are not invincible. 

“I think everyone should be paying attention to this,” he said, adding, “It’s not just going to be the elderly. There will be people age 20 and up. They do have to be careful, even if they think that they’re young and healthy.”

Article continues after video.

For the population ages 19 and younger, they posed the least risk with the CDC confirming that they accounted for less than 1 percent of hospitalizations, and none of the I.C.U. admissions or deaths. However, officials claim this could change as more research is conducted over time. 

In the meantime, the study’s authors emphasized that while everyone is at risk, seniors still face harsher and deadlier consequences if diagnosed. 

“The risk for serious disease and death in COVID-19 cases among persons in the United States increases with age. Social distancing is recommended for all ages to slow the spread of the virus, protect the health care system, and help protect vulnerable older adults.”

Read the CDC’s report in its entirety here.


ESSENCE is committed to bringing our audience the latest facts about COVID-19 (coronavirus). Our content team is closely monitoring the developing details surrounding the virus via official sources and health care experts, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Please continue to refresh ESSENCE’s informational hub for updates on COVID-19, as well as tips for taking care of yourselves, your families and your communities.