Younger demographic of West Virginians test positive for COVID-19


A sign in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Thursday, June 18, 2020, asks people to maintain social distancing on the beach. People are flocking to South Carolina’s beaches for vacation after being cooped up by COVID-19 for months. But the virus is taking no vacation as the state has rocketed into the top five in the country in cases divided by population. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) – Recent figures calculated by The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources show a trend of younger people contracting the COVID-19.

On the evening of Monday, July 6, 2020, the 20-29 age group showed the highest positive case rate in the state, sitting at 20.20 percent.

Access Health Doctor, Johnny Walker, said local health experts are seeing this trend in a number of local counties as well. Some include Mercer County, where the DHHR reported more than 20 percent of positive cases are from people between the ages of 20-29.

In Raleigh County, the same age range had the second-highest positive case testing rate Monday evening, underneath the percentage of people 30-39.

In Fayette County, people in their 20s also sit highest, at 18.06 percent.

“These may be people that resumed their work life, their social interactions, and may not be taking the necessary precautions such as mask-wearing, social distancing and hand washing,” Dr. Walker said.

They are also trying to enjoy their summer. A specific report from the Mercer County Health Department showed of all 57 cases to date, 23 percent are related to travel to Myrtle Beach and surrounding areas, with another 23 percent related to travel to other areas.

“Any type of travel, especially young people, needs to be done under the right circumstance and they really need to put a lot of thought into it,” Dr. Walker added.

Dr. Walker stressed that it is okay for young people in the Mountain State to be eager to return to some normalcy or escape isolation with a getaway, but the right precautions could make a world of difference in the end.

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