Adults in 20s, 30s driving COVID-19 surges in some states: 5 updates

At least five states reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases June 18, with some areas seeing a large surge in infections among people ages 35 and under.  

Five updates:

1. Arizona, California, Florida, South Carolina and Texas all reported record-high daily case increases June 18, CNBC reports. In Oklahoma, 54 percent of new cases reported from June 3-17 were in people 35 and younger, while those 65 and older had the smallest percentage increase in cases, according to health department data cited by USA Today. The majority of new cases in Florida's Seminole County are people between ages 18 and 30, according to Fox's WOFL. In several Texas counties, residents younger than 30 are testing positive at a higher rate than before, which Gov. Greg Abbott contributed to "people going to bars" during a June 16 news conference, according to The Texas Tribune. Health officials have confirmed a similar trend across the state. 

2. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority is halting funding for research into treatments for lung damage caused by COVID-19, reports The New York Times. Academic researchers and biotech leaders had spent months pitching research proposals to the federal health agency and said they were surprised by the decision. NYT said the funding pause highlights the White House's strict focus on developing a COVID-19 vaccine. BARDA has already pledged more than $2.2 billion in funds to five drugmakers working on vaccine candidates. Another $359 million has been pledged for research into potential COVID-19 treatments.

3. California issued a statewide order for residents to wear masks in most public settings June 18. The mandate comes amid a major uptick in new COVID-19 cases. The state reported more than 4,000 new cases June 18, the highest single-day increase seen during the pandemic. 

4. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts told local governments he would withhold federal relief funds if they require masks inside the state's 98 courthouses and other county offices, reports the Omaha World-Herald. "The governor encourages people to wear a mask but does not believe that failure to wear a mask should be the basis for denying taxpayers' services," Taylor Gage, the governor's spokesperson, told the publication.

5. Blood plasma transfusions from recovered COVID-19 patients are safe and may be beneficial treating early active infections, a large Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic study confirms. The study, published June 18 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, was conducted from April 3 to June 2, in a convenience sample of 20,000 hospitalized patients in the U.S. The findings confirm previous, smaller studies suggesting the benefit of convalescent plasma. 

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 2,191,371 (25.7 percent of 8,514,522 global cases)
Deaths: 118,435 (26.1 percent of 454,522 global deaths)
Recovered: 599,115 (14.3 percent of 4,182,169 global recoveries)

Counts reflect data available as of 8:55 a.m. CDT June 19.


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