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New trend emerges in Ohio's COVID-19 cases as state sees uptick in cases involving younger people

Posted at 9:27 PM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 23:16:00-04

A new trend has emerged among Ohioans who are contracting coronavirus.

Of the new cases reported Friday, 60% are people ages 20 to 49.

“This is a statewide trend that will require our close attention here,” said Terry Allan, Cuyahoga County Board of Health Commissioner.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health is currently tracking similar numbers and it’s creating concern.

“We are surging this week,” said Romona Brazile, Cuyahoga County Board of Health Prevention and Wellness.

The stay-at-home order being lifted, warm summer weather and a sense of invincibility seem to have come together to create the perfect storm.

Allan said not enough of us are wearing masks and maintaining social distance like we were this spring.

“We’ve seen a bit of a caution-fatigue there that we think may be having some consequences,” Allan said.

Those tracking the virus in Northeast Ohio also attribute the spike to gatherings among family and friend groups.

“That is a very common occurrence that is happening right now,” Brazile said.

While typically younger people see milder symptoms, doctors are still worried about how the virus is circulating.

“Our concern is that if this trend continues, they will infect other more vulnerable people,” said Dr. Heidi Gullet, Cuyahoga County Board of Health Medical Director.

Dr. Gullet said that has the potential to put our healthcare system into a tailspin, which right now is holding its own.

“Our hospital utilization has remained relatively stable despite these increased infections,” Gullet said.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health is ramping up its outreach efforts, encouraging younger people to mask-up, maintain space in public settings and limit get-togethers.

“That includes your family and friends. It’s not time to get relaxed,” Brazile said.

Health officials are also keeping a close watch on where these transmissions are likely to occur in this age group—bars and restaurants.

“We’ve seen a big increase certainly in calls over the past week about concerns,” Allan said.