COVID-19 Mitigation Behaviors by Age Group

Angie SzumlinskiStudies

Per the CDC Weekly MMWR report that was published October 27, 2020 and updated October 30, 2020, self-reported engagement in mitigation behaviors (mask-wearing, handwashing, physical distancing, crowd and restaurant avoidance and cancellation of social activities) differed significantly by adult age group. During April-June 2020, the prevalence of these behaviors was lowest among adults aged 18-29 years and highest among those aged >60 years. Whereas mask-wearing increased over time, other reported mitigation behaviors decreased or remained unchanged.

These findings suggest that lower engagement in social mitigation behaviors among younger adults might be one possible reason for the increased incidence of confirmed COVID-19 cases in this group, which began in June 2020 and preceded increases among persons aged ≥60 years by 4-15 days. What does this mean to you? Take a look at the demographics of your direct care staff. Not surprisingly, a large group of them are likely between 18-29 years old! These are the adults who are in the community, enjoying life and not worried about COVID-19 because it is rarely deadly for that age group. What they need to understand is that COVID-19 is deadly for the residents they care for. Unlike any other time in recent history, we are physically dangerous to the frail elderly.

Please, continue to educate your staff on the importance of mitigating the spread of infection. They need to follow the CDC guidelines on social distancing, masking, handwashing and above all, reporting any exposure they may be aware of prior to reporting for their shift.

Stay the course, stay strong, stay well, mask up, and stay tuned!