Younger people are testing positive after attending drinking parties and graduation parties
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Ontario County fits a national trend seeing a surge of younger people with COVID-19. Younger people are testing positive after attending drinking parties and graduation parties, according to county Public Health.
“This is not a disease that just older people are getting. The majority of the COVID-19 cases are 40 years old or younger and have been exposed at a social gathering,” Ontario County Public Health Director Mary Beer warned in a release July 1.
Public Health investigated 55 new cases in June. Of those, 64% were acquired in the community — cases not associated with nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. Public Health Educator Christy Richards noted younger people “are testing positive after attending drinking parties and graduation parties.”
“It’s unfortunate,” said Ontario County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Marren. Marren, who serves on a regional “control room” monitoring reopening of the Finger Lakes region, said in some areas “it looks like pre-pandemic” mode with graduation parties and bar life.
“Some are taking great precautions — I hope they continue to do that,” he said.
Marren added he understands why young people are especially eager to socialize like they did before the pandemic. He warned it is dangerous and puts people of all ages at greater risk — and can slow or reverse reopening plans.
“Many will not have symptoms but then they give it to mom and dad or grandma and grandpa,” he said.
People exposed to COVID-19 through someone in their household are at high risk.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, household contacts (of positive cases) are at a high risk for contracting COVID-19 despite being isolated to a single room,” according to Richards.
Nationally, before Memorial Day the majority of coronavirus cases were found in people 45 and older. Now, the opposite is true. People under 45 made up 42% of cases before Memorial Day weekend but 55% of cases reported since then, a new USA TODAY analysis found.
The trend holds in places where new cases are surging and in those that are not, according to the analysis of data from 25 states and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Richards responded Monday to questions about COVID-19 in Ontario County
Q. Does there appear to be a correlation between the Black Lives Matter protests/rallies and increase in cases among younger folks?
A. Our nurses that investigate each COVID-19 positive case assess the contacts for each of these residents. We have not identified a cluster within the BLM protests/rallies.
Q. What are you witnessing, or receiving reports about, which point to possible reasons for increase in younger COVID cases?
— Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, household contacts (of positive cases) are at a high risk for contracting COVID-19 despite being isolated to a single room.
— Younger people are testing positive after attending drinking parties and graduation parties.
— Ontario County has identified several asymptomatic COVID-19 cases due to pre-op testing and employee long-term care testing. These residents were shocked to hear that they tested positive for COVID-19 and now needed to isolate for 10 days. This issue highlights why it is so important to wear a face covering in public, stay 6 feet from others and not go into crowded areas with more than 50 people. Face covering helps to keep your germs from spreading to other vulnerable people in our community.
Q. Have any of the 40 or younger cases so far been hospitalized?
All the hospitalized cases have been over 40 and have had underlying health conditions.
Q. Have any of the deaths in the county so far been someone 40 or younger?
All the deaths from COVID-19 have been from those who had underlying health conditions.
The sge range of incidents of deaths for residents of Ontario County:
• 50s: 1
• 60s: 5
• 70s: 10
• 80s: 12
• 90s: 5
Total number of deaths in the county due to COVID-19 is 33 (30 tested positive for COVID-19 and 3 were identified using death certificate data but were not on our positive list).
As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, Ontario County Public Health reported two new cases, four people hospitalized, and 111 quarantined. The cumulative number of confirmed cases in the county is 282 and 230 have recovered. The total number of deaths remains at 33.
A breakdown by gender of COVID-19 cases in the county shows 61 percent are males and 39 percent females
For updates and more information visit https://www.co.ontario.ny.us/101/Public-Health
Includes reporting by USA Today, Jayme Fraser, Matt Wynn, Dan Keemahill and Karen Weintraub