COVID-19 cases rise in younger age groups as Arizona students return to class

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Posted at 4:15 AM, Jul 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-30 02:29:00-04

PHOENIX — Homework, gym clothes, and hopefully, lots of great stories from the first few days of a new school year - but there's something else doctors are worried your kids could be bringing home with them.

"That group of individuals is getting COVID-19 at a higher rate right now," explains ABC15 data analyst Garrett Archer about the 0-20 age group in Arizona.

Archer says we are seeing a 30% rise in cases in this age group in the last two weeks.

Although not as high as what the 20-44 age group is experiencing, Archer says he's still watching that younger group very closely.

"Any growth in COVID-19 is concerning. The biggest concern with the 0-20 age group is less about the severity and more about them being a vector point for getting other people sick. So if they have people at home who are unable to get vaccinated or chose not to get vaccinated, those people of a certain age group where COVID-19 may be more severe to them, they are more at risk when these numbers go up."

According to data provided by the Arizona Department of Health Services, Archer explains the 85142 zip code in Queen Creek is seeing the most cases in the state, currently. He also says that zip code is actually seeing more cases this July than in July of last year.

Take a look at the COVID-19 cases in Maricopa County by zip code in the map below.

But it's not just Queen Creek - Archer says he's already seeing increases in the COVID dashboards for Peoria and Mesa and other cities as well.

"That's what we are seeing right now. If you look at the Chandler dashboard, for example, you can see the increase already showing up in the school districts. We already have letters home."

But there is some good news overall. Although hospitalizations are rising, Archer says we're not seeing nearly the number of people getting admitted as we did during previous surges, including in the 0-20 age group.