LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Sunday marked Kentucky’s highest single-day report of coronavirus cases after Gov. Andy Beshear announced 979 new cases. The Louisville Department of Public Health and Wellness and University of Louisville Health both report that many of these cases are among young adults.
It’s not just in Louisville but all over the state. Looking at the latest numbers from Sunday, the most coronavirus cases fall within the 20s age range with 4,288 cases. Those in their 30s had the next highest amount at 3,776.
“A lot of the data points to the reopening of entertainment venues, bars, pubs, restaurants, beaches, those types of places as being a primary culprit for the increase in cases, particularly when we look at that 20-44 age range,” Connie Mendel of the Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness said.
Mendel said that is likely because it’s the healthiest age range with the least risk for complications. Although the case number goes down as you go up in age demographic, the death toll does the exact opposite. There are the most deaths in the 80+ range, and it goes down each demographic until you get to the 20s.
Dr. Jason Smith with UofL Health said that is likely why they aren’t seeing a rise in hospitalizations, despite the rise in cases.
While young adults are less at risk of complications, Dr. Smith said it can still be dangerous.
24-year-old Hannah Jones knows that first-hand. She spent weeks on a ventilator because of COVID-19 complications. Her condition eventually improved, and she was released from the hospital. While catching up with her now as cases rise, Jones said she wants her peers to be smart.
“In your 20s you’re at this point of thinking, ‘if I get it, I’ll be okay and survive this.’ They don’t realize how serious this is,” Jones said.
The death toll from coronavirus hasn’t matched the recent rise in cases because more the healthiest demographics are catching the virus; however, Dr. Smith worries that those young adults could spread it to people who are at a greater risk. That’s why he expects the death toll and hospitalizations to go up.
He said it is more important now than ever if we want Kentucky to stay open.
“I think in order for us to maintaining our ability to go out in the community and do things, we have to take responsibility for actions. If we don’t, I think we are going to get back into a situation like we saw in April when things were starting to be shut down,” Dr. Smith said.
Mendel said, even if you aren’t worried about your health, take precautions for the sake of others.
“Think about their close family members, friends, neighbors and grandparents. We want to keep everybody safe and we all have a part to play in that,” Mendel said.