Where is the uptick in COVID cases coming from?

In July, the number of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts increased most dramatically among people in their twenties.

According to state data, people in the 20-29 age category saw their COVID-19 case count go up by 2,064 during July, or about 24 percent of the total increase in cases for the month. On a per capita basis, the 20-29 age category also saw the largest increase of any group.

It’s tempting to conclude from that data that people in their twenties are driving the uptick in the state’s overall case count, which is prompting all the concern that we’re headed backwards on COVID, not forward.

It fits anecdotally, too. Young people as a group tend to worry less about COVID, in part because they’re young and feel invincible and partly because, statistically, if they get the disease they tend to survive. Toss in pictures of young people crowded together, many of them not wearing masks, at Carson Beach in South Boston and it seems like you have all the evidence you need.

Some epidemiologists and health experts are urging the governor to slow the pace of reopening or take it back a notch, although a sharp dip in the number of new cases on Monday made that argument a bit harder to make.

So far, Gov. Charlie Baker has blamed “lapses in judgment” by people attending large parties or gatherings and emphasized the basics – wear masks, social distance, and practice good hygiene. He has also tightened rules a bit on visitors from out of state and warned that additional restrictions may be forthcoming if the case count keeps rising.

One group he has not blamed is the under-30 crowd. “A lot of what’s driving the increase in cases coming out of the South is just an astonishing run-up in positive test rates for the under-30 crowd,” Baker said. “We do not have that.”

Baker said the under-30 crowd in Massachusetts has seen its case count tick upward and its share of new cases increase, but only relative to older age groups that were once sky-high and have now declined.

The 20-29 age group has been fairly consistent, accounting for 14.7 percent of COVID cases on July 31, 14 percent on July 1, 13.4 percent on June 1, and 12.3 percent on May 1.

He said young people in Massachusetts, in general, seem to be following the same precautionary practices as their elders. “Our young people, for the most part, seem to be doing all the same things,” he said.



The Cannabis Control Commission allows some 620,000 quarantined vapes to be sold, under certain conditions.

Three nursing homes are cut from the Massachusetts Medicaid program, which could mean all three will shut down. At least one of the facilities has vowed to appeal.

Opinion: Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards proposes measures to prevent evictions and promote housing stability….Craig Altemose of 350 Action runs down the lessons learned from the push for climate action.

FROM AROUND THE WEB             


Lots of interest groups are making last-ditch efforts to sway the conferees working on finalizing a police reform bill. (MassLive)

Joan Vennochi says Gov. Charlie Baker bears moral responsibility, which he has yet to acknowledge, for the deaths of at least 76 veterans from COVID-19 at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home. (Boston Globe)


The Daily Item profiles Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll.

A group of black Worcester residents lays out a series of demands for the city, from removing police officers from schools to revamping the city’s chief diversity officer position. (Telegram & Gazette)

Hingham Police Chief Glenn Olsson has decided to retire following an incident where he, Town Administrator Tom Mayo, and Fire Chief Steve Murphy ordered firefighters to remove thin blue line flags, signifying support for police departments, from fire trucks after a resident complaint. (Patriot Ledger) 


Coronavirus cases are surging in the Midwest. (Washington Post)


Religious organizations received $10 billion in COVID-19 relief funds and are looking for more. (NPR)

Microsoft says it has discussed with President Trump its plan to acquire TikTok’s US operations, just as the White House threatens to blacklist the hugely popular Chinese-owned app. (NPR) The Globe’s Larry Edelman says Trump is basically extorting the company in the name of national security.


A bipartisan group has gamed out the Trump-Biden election and is offering recommendations to blunt the chaos they say could ensue, particularly if Trump loses and doesn’t accept the results. (Boston Globe)

Ed Markey offers an apology to the parents of DJ Henry, an Easton resident killed by police outside New York City in a controversial 2010 shooting, but it’s not clear what he’s sorry for. Henry’s parents, who are supporting Joe Kennedy in his Democratic primary challenge to Markey, claim Markey seemed indifferent to the case when they met with him a number of years ago. (Boston Globe)


The Cannabis Control Commission is asked to revise the rules governing home delivery of marijuana. (State House News Service)

Massachusetts fishermen say a second coronavirus wave would be devastating to their businesses. (Boston Herald)

Smith & Wesson will split off its firearms business from its outdoor and camping gear business, which will be called American Outdoor Brands. (MassLive)

Bask, greater New Bedford’s first medical marijuana dispensary, has been a consistent source of tax and host community revenue for the city. (Standard-Times)


The American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts follows the Massachusetts Teachers Association in calling for a fully remote start of the school year. (MassLive)

Black clergy leaders are rallying around Boston school superintendent Brenda Cassellius, who has had a rocky first year at the helm. (Boston Herald)

Former state senator Warren Tolman is launching a nonprofit to aid Boston high school valedictorians with making it through college after a Boston Globe series spotlighted all the hurdles they face despite finishing tops in their high school class. (Boston Globe)

Israel’s reopening of schools in May — and the surge of coronavirus cases that followed — offers a cautionary tale as US school districts make plans for the fall. (New York Times)


While multiple drive-in movie theaters have popped up around Cape Cod and the Islands, what has set the Vineyard’s summer drive-in apart is that Hollywood-connected summer visitors are showing up there several nights a week to introduce their films. (Cape Cod Times) 

Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts has cut more than 100 full- and part-time positions as the still-closed museum restructures operations. (Boston Globe)


Virginia Buckingham, the head of Massport on 9/11, has a new memoir out. (MetroWest Daily News)