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DHEC warns of increasing COVID-19 cases among youth

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COVID-19 cases are increasing in young adults and youth in S.C., the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control warned.

On Friday, DHEC reported that 4,160, or 18.4%, of the 22,608 confirmed cases in the state were among people ages 21 to 30. Teenagers accounted for 7% of confirmed cases, the agency said.

Sine April 4, DHEC data shows a 413.9% increase in new cases among ages 21-30 and a 966.1% increase among ages 11-20.

“The increases that we’re seeing serve as a warning that young adults and youth are not immune to COVID-19,” Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC physician consultant, said in a news release. “They also tell us that younger South Carolinians are not taking social distancing seriously.”

On Saturday, DHEC announced a single-day record of 1,157 new cases with five additional deaths. On Sunday, 902 new cases, one probable case and nine additional confirmed deaths were announced, bringing the state’s totals to 24,661 confirmed cases, 32 probable cases, and 653 confirmed deaths.

As of Sunday, 692 S.C. hospital beds were occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19 — an increase of 17 beds from the previous day.

“While it is true that most youth and younger adults with COVID-19 only experience a mild illness, that is not true for all,” Traxler said. “In addition, it’s important to remember that even with mild or no symptoms you can spread the disease to those around you — your friends, teammates, and family. We’re calling on our younger generation of South Carolinians to be leaders in their communities by taking actions to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

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