HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The Pennsylvania Department of Health sounded the alarm for college students to take more urgency in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Rachel Levine held a news conference Monday to showcase the growing number of cases in the 19-to 24-year-old demographic.

In northcentral Pennsylvania in April, seven percent of COVID-19 cases were in the college-aged demographic. In September 69 percent of cases are in that age group, according to the Department of Health.

As for northeastern Pennsylvania, in September 19-to-24-year-olds make up 40 percent of COVID-19 cases, compared to six percent back in April.

“Increases in COVID-19 cases impact local children, and their ability to go to school in person. Increase in COVID-19 cases impact local businesses and their ability to stay open. And increase in COVID-19 cases impact the courageous, brave individuals who care for who care for the most vulnerable residents in long term care facilities,” Dr. Levine said during the news conference.

Levine encouraged college students in the state to unite together to stop this virus from doing more damage to communities, families and friends.