ECDOH: More than half of new COVID-19 cases last week in Erie County were in younger adults

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A woman adjusts her facemask as a man holds onto his while walking in Los Angeles on June 29, 2020 where the largest single-day number of new COVID-19 cases in the county since the pandemic began was confirmed. – The coronavirus pandemic is “not even close to being over”, the WHO warned today, as the global death toll passed half a million and cases surge in Latin America and the United States. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

(WIVB) – New Erie County COVID-19 data is showing an increase in cases in younger adults, the Erie County Department of Health said Monday.

More than half of new cases in last week’s data were in the 20-29 and 30-39 age groups.

“For all confirmed cases, the percentage of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 who in their 20s and 30s is about 30%,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “However, for last week’s data, 54% of new cases – more than half – are seen in those age groups, with nearly one-third of all new cases being in the 20 to 29 age category.” 

County officials find the rising cases among younger people concerning.

“Younger adults may be less likely to have severe symptoms, and more likely to go out to crowded locations and large gatherings where one infected person could unknowingly spread COVID-19 to dozens of others,” Dr. Burstein added. “That’s a dangerous combination.”

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz adds that if the trend continues, it could impact the region’s ability to stay in Phase 4 of reopening, including opening schools in the fall.

“Younger adults are not invincible and could pass on the disease to others who are more at-risk for being hospitalized or even dying from contracting COVID-19,” Poloncarz added. “COVID-19 is still in our community, and we all have a responsibility to protect ourselves and each other from this disease.”

Here are the confirmed new COVID-19 cases by age group for the week ending July 11:

All county residents are reminded to take the following precautions:

  • Wear a mask when you can’t maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and running water
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects
  • Avoid large gatherings
  • Avoid travel to states listed in the NYS Joint Travel Advisory; if travel is unavoidable, quarantine for 14 days upon returning to New York
  • Stay home if you feel ill
  • Consider a diagnostic COVID-19 test. These are available at no cost through ECDOH. Call (716) 858-2929 to schedule, or visit www.erie.gov/covidtestsites for a location near you. ECDOH recommends a diagnostic test for anyone who feels they are at risk for COVID-19, those with a recent travel history to states with a high level of community transmission, close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases, and people who have COVID-19 symptoms.

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