The coronavirus was originally thought to be a disease that young people didn’t have to worry about. Not anymore. “Officials in states across the South are warning more young people”—meaning under 30— “are testing positive for coronavirus,” reports CNN. “The shifts in demographics have been recorded in parts of Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas and other states—many of which were some of the first to reopen. And while some officials have pointed to more widespread testing being done, others say the new cases stem from Americans failing to social distance.”
“The spikes suggest young adults are both more likely to hold front-line service jobs that put them at risk and more likely to ignore some of the social distancing practices advised by health experts,” adds The Hill. “The most troubling hot spots are now concentrated in Sun Belt states such as Arizona, California, Florida, North Carolina and Texas. All five of those states have reported more than 1,000 new cases per day this week, making them the only five states to break the four-digit barrier during that period.”
Why Young People Are Catching Coronavirus
The governor of Texas blamed the young people for not following protocols set in place to keep people safe. “What we’re seeing there is that people of that age group, they’re not following these appropriate best health and safety practices,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in an interview this week with KLBK, a McAllen television station. “They’re not wearing face masks. They’re not sanitizing their hands. They’re not maintaining the safe distancing practices. And as a result, they are contracting COVID-19 at a record pace in the state of Texas.”
Meanwhile, in Florida, the state’s governor played up the upside: the young patients were mostly asymptomatic. “The vast majority of cases that we’re seeing right now in the state of Florida are with people who are presenting without any symptoms. These are folks, I think, many of them are probably being tested because of returning to the workforce,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a news conference Saturday afternoon in Tallahassee. “So we’re seeing a major shift in this direction with this large 20- to 30-year-old population, mostly asymptomatic, but we’re also seeing that not only are they testing positive because they’re testing more, they’re also testing positive at a higher rate increasingly over the last week, and that’s something that you want to look at.”
Ties to Frat Parties
Beyond increased testing, some outbreaks have been tied to the avoidance of social distancing.
“In Mississippi, where one health officer called adherence to social distancing over the past weeks ‘overwhelmingly disappointing,’ officials attributed clusters of new cases to fraternity rush parties,” reports CNN. The town of Oxford, Mississippi is seeing a significant outbreak. “What we’ve identified so far is that it seems to be related to community transmission and social gatherings, and we have linked quite a few patients back to fraternity rush parties that are happening in the summer,” Dr. Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi State Health Officer, said during Governor Tate Reeves’s coronavirus press conference.
As for yourself: Wash your hands regularly, practice social distancing, wear a face covering and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.