CDC boss Rochelle Walensky says youth sports fueling uptick in COVID-19 cases

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Youth sports are helping to fuel the worrisome rise in COVID-19 cases among young people, the head of the CDC said Monday.

“We are learning that many outbreaks in young people are related to youth sports and extracurricular activities,’’ Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the federal agency’s director, said at a White House briefing.

“This is among 18-to-24-year-olds where we’re actually seeing some peaks in cases,’’ she said. “Cases are increasing nationally, and we’re seeing this predominantly in younger adults.’’

The latest daily average of new US cases in the past week is 4,970, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief — or up 3 percent from the daily average during the previous seven-day period.

Walenksy stressed that the way to combat the uptick was through health protocols such as testing.

She said it is still unclear whether the virus’s more transmissible variants may be behind the increase in COVID-19 among young people.

“We don’t yet have evidence to say,” Walensky said.

She suggested that the vaccination of younger people would have “a massive impact’’ on their transmission of the virus.

Vaccine-maker Pfizer announced earlier this month that a clinical trial it recently conducted among 2,260 US adolescents showed its inoculation is 100 percent effective in kids age 12 to 15 — suggesting children could get preventative shots as soon as before the next school year.

Last month, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo lifted the state’s ban on even high-coronavirus-risk school sports.

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