25% of COVID-19 cases in Lynchburg have been people in their 20s, health officials say


LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — New data from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) showed that one in four coronavirus cases in Lynchburg are people in their 20s.

Dr. Tonya Price, incoming program director for the University of Lynchburg’s Master’s of Public Health, provided several possible reasons as to why she thinks the percentage is disproportionately high in that age range.

“People have been cooped up since March. Now that the restrictions are lessening, people want to be around their friends. Our younger population is probably more likely to be in a bar setting, a restaurant setting, and that is going to increase their exposure,” she said.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the younger population seemed to be at less of a risk, which created a false impression of protection and invincibility. However, as testing became more widely available, health professionals got a better understanding of the virus, according to Dr. Price.

“Initially, we really thought that it wasn’t going to affect the younger population. Now we’re finding that we’re learning more,” she said.

Even though young people have a higher survival rate, they can be asymptomatic carriers for a long time and spread the disease to others.

“While those in the 20 to 29-year-old range may see it as no big deal. If they get it, they’re going to survive it. They have to think about other people they come in contact with,” she said.

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