Story at a glance
- State data gathered over three weeks shows new COVID-19 infections in Ohio are occurring in younger people.
- This comes as Gov. Mike DeWine has mandated mask usage across seven counties.
As one of the majority of states experiencing increases in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, Ohio is also seeing an alarming trend in its coronavirus patients. State data shows that more than half of patients reporting new symptoms within the past three weeks are under 40, another signal that younger Americans are driving the surge in new cases.
About 3,759 Ohioans in their 20s experienced an onset of COVID-19 symptoms since June 16, according to data from the Ohio Department of Health as reported by cleveland.com. This age bracket made up 26 percent of all cases during that time, the highest number of cases among any age group.
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Another 2,695 Ohioans in their 30s reported symptoms over the past three weeks, making up 18.5 percent of new cases. Also in the past three weeks, 1,791 patients younger than 19 also reported new symptoms, composing an additional 12.3 percent of new cases.
This is a distinct contrast from March, when Ohio began to implement shutdown measures as the pandemic hit stateside. Around that time, the age group with the highest number of cases were within the range of ages 50 to 59, composing 20.6 percent of cases.
Notably, however, with more younger residents getting sick comes a lower fatality rate, dropping to a projected 2.2 percent in June from an 8.6 percent recorded in April.
Regardless, public health experts have reiterated that younger COVID-19 patients tend to spread the virus unknowingly and perpetuate the pandemic.
“We are seeing some young people who are getting pretty sick. But the other concern is that they pass it on to other individuals who are older – individuals who have more medical problems,” Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said. “That’s a great concern.”
This follows the news that DeWine has mandated that residents in seven counties hit hardest by the virus must wear masks in public to curb disease growth.
Currently, the state department of health reports 58,904 cases and 8,383 hospitalizations.
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