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COVID-19 cases increasing in young adults and teens

NOW: COVID-19 cases increasing in young adults and teens

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind.—St. Joseph County has seen coronavirus cases increase each month, and in July, the case count hitting their highest since the pandemic started in March.

Officials said young adults and teens are driving the spike.

“The age group that’s been most affected really has shifted almost month to month, but since the beginning of July 45 percent of cases have been in individuals under the age of 30,” St. Joseph County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox.

St. Joseph County’s Deputy Health Officer, Dr. Mark Fox, said that the virus has caused a desire for teens to get out of the house, especially after the cancellation of many events in the area.

Dr. Fox said that over 20% of cases in the county have been recorded after Independence Day.

"There have been a number of social gathering for everything for graduation celebrations, birthday celebrations, 4th of July celebrations, where multiple people who attended those events have needed up testing positive,” Dr. Fox said.

The increase in coronavirus cases among this age group, sparking concerns that they could infect other family members.

“We certainly have seen a number of cases where teens and young adults have become infected and then there household have also become infected, several people in the same household are now infected,” Dr. Fox said.

The 7-day rolling case average in St. Joseph County in June was at around 15 to 20, but in July, the average is now at 46.

2,470 positive cases are reported with 79 deaths, and currently there are 530 active cases in the county, also the highest it’s been during the pandemic.

To try to lower this case count, Dr. Fox stands by what he’s said since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Everything we’ve said before, hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette, really attending into physical distancing and wearing a mask are all important things that individuals can do to reduce the risk of getting or transmitting the virus,” Dr. Fox said.

Dr. Fox’s advice to young adults and teens itching to leave the house--

“I think if you’re in a large group where you don’t know of the behavior and hygiene practices of people that you’re gathering with, that’s where it’s really important to keep the physical distance and to wear a mask and to avoid,” Dr. Fox said.

“I understand the desire to get out and to be social and to return to some level of normalcy, at the same time we have very few tools in our tool kit for dealing with coronavirus.”

Dr. Fox said that the increase in cases is discouraging, but that the county will continue to work harder to send the message on the importance of staying safe and healthy during the pandemic.

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