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Greene County Public Health Officials See Growth Of COVID-19 Cases in 18 to 22-Year-Olds

Springfield-Greene County Health Department director, Clay Goddard, said 36 percent of COVID-19 cases in the county in August were 18 to 22-year-olds.  In the last week, 58 percent of COVID-19 cases were in that age group.

He told Springfield City Council Tuesday that’s not surprising.

"When you bring around 20,000+ college students to a community you're going to have some disease spread," he said.  "Some of them brought disease with them.  Some of them contracted the illness here."

The rise in cases among the younger age group is concerning, he said, but at this time he wouldn’t call it exponential growth.  He said the 18 to 22-year-old age group can control their own destiny going forward by taking steps to protect themselves and others.  If they contract the illness and pass it to others, there's not only a health impact but an economic impact as they and close contacts have to stay home from work to quarantine, Goddard pointed out.

The health department continues working with colleges and universities to help with case investigations and contact tracing, he said.  MSU had a total of 383 new cases in the 2nd week of classes—about double the cases from the week before.  Goddard said as they develop trends, it will help inform their paths going forward.

Copyright 2021 KSMU. To see more, visit KSMU.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.