Children and teenagers represent the fastest-growing age groups hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new data released Friday by the Minnesota Department of Health that included 5 more deaths and 498 more lab-confirmed cases of the infectious disease.

The number of lab-confirmed cases in Minnesota has increased 37% — from 25,208 on June 1 to 34,616 as of Friday — but the numbers among people aged 6 to 19 increased 61% in the same time frame. And 20-somethings overtook people in their 30s for the first time this week as the age group in Minnesota with the most lab-confirmed cases.

The 7,045 cases among people in their 20s now represent 20% of all cases. More infections in this population might not result in more severe outcomes — only two of 1,411 total deaths so far in the pandemic have involved people younger than 30 in Minnesota. But state health officials worry that these mobile young adults can spread the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 to others at greater risk.

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