VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Virginia Beach health officials released a statement on Thursday reporting an increase in positive COVID-19 cases among young adults and while the city is seeing a spike, this pattern is consistent across Hampton Roads.
Compared to last week, confirmed cases in the city have increased by 240% for individuals ages younger than 20. Cases for those between the ages of 20 to 29 have increased by nearly 250%. The combined group from ages 20 to 29 and ages 30 to 39 make up about 39% of the total 1,225 cases reported in Virginia Beach.
Health Department Director Dr. Demetria Lindsay said that new trend isn’t one they want to see continue.
“We understand the need for people to socialize and have fun and relax but try to do it safely,” she said.
Lindsay said although some people don’t want to share where they’ve been, contact tracing shows a common theme.
“Large gatherings have occurred in backyards for barbecues, Father’s Day celebrations, birthdays,” she said.
We’re told the recent spike among young people is also impacting families.
The health department tells 10 On Your Side residents shouldn’t let their guard down around extended family.
“If you’re bringing in family members from outside of your household, that’s the same as being exposed to other people in the community,” Lindsay said.
With Fourth of July weekend upon us, the community is urged to remain vigilant. Lindsay said there is no safe place in this pandemic – only safe behavior.
“We have to continue to practice those things. This is not over by a long shot,” she said.
Throughout Hampton Roads, the July 2 Virginia COVID-19 update show data that nearly 40% of Norfolk’s cases involve people under the age of 30, and Black and Latino people account for 80% of Norfolk’s overall cases.
In Virginia, of the 63,735 cases reported on July 2, individuals ages 20 to 29 make up 10,726 cases and ages 30 to 39 make up 11,793 cases. Together, the two age groups make up just over 35% of the reported cases for the state.
“The increase in COVID-19 cases among young adults and teenagers is due in large part to participating in activities that involve large gatherings of people and not wearing a face covering”, said Norfolk/Virginia Beach Health Director Dr. Demetria Lindsay.
“We have recent reports of exposures at local bars, family celebrations, and socializing with friends. We all have to take responsibility for the protection of ourselves and others,” said Lindsay. “Please wear a face covering when out in public and stay six feet or more from others. Avoid close contact even among non-household family and friends.”
Parents, young adults, and teens are encouraged to take the following precautions:
- Avoid large gatherings of people and sharing living spaces with people outside your immediate household.
- Practice social distancing: stay 6 feet apart from others whenever possible.
- Wear a face covering over the nose and mouth while in public, particularly indoors.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds; use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available.
- Stay home when sick, except when seeking medical care.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, including in your home.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect touched surfaces frequently.
- Cover coughs and sneezes when not wearing a face covering.
- Anyone who has been in a large gathering or other setting where social distancing and face covering were not being practiced should contact their healthcare provider.
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