State doctors warn cases among young people are soaring, local hospital weighs in


MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW) – Doctors, state health leaders and Governor Henry McMaster are warning of a substantial rise in Coronavirus cases among 21-30 year olds.

“Since June 1st, we’ve seen a 436.5% increase of newly reported COVID-19 cases in this 21 to 30 age group,” Director of Public Health for DHEC, Dr. Joan Duwve said. “42% of all our COVID-19 cases have been reported within the past two weeks. Please think about that, nearly half of COVID cases reported in the state of South Carolina occurred in the past two weeks; and think about what those numbers are going to look like two weeks from now.”

Right now, 22% of South Carolina’s total number of Coronavirus cases are patients between 21 and 30 years old. Another 15% are patients younger than 20.

DHEC is reporting today the average age of someone with COVID-19 in South Carolina is 41.1 years old.

This surge in cases prompted Governor McMaster to enact an executive order prohibiting the sale of alcohol at restaurants and bars in the State after 11 P.M.

Back on the Grand Strand, doctors at Tidelands Health are seeing the same troubling statistic of young people getting Coronavirus.

Right now, more than half of Tidelands hospitalized COVID-19 patients are younger than 65; the threshold age regarded as most at risk.

“They consider themselves bulletproof and we expect to be able to slog on through this illness if we get it and we’re 25,35 or 45 years old and we might, but we still can carry this disease and spread it to the vulnerable part of the population; those over the age of 65,” Doctor Gerald Harmon, Family Medicine Physician and Vice President of Medical Affairs at Tidelands said.

Doctor Harmon tells News13, most of the young patients who test positive, were mostly asymptomatic and don’t know where they got the virus.

“If you question them when they turn up positive and ask if they have any symptoms, “Well I had a little headache, I might have felt a little tired or fatigued, I might have had some gastrointestinal issues, maybe diarrhea,” but they didn’t think that they might have COVID,” Harmon explained.

“Young people that are carrying this are not necessarily the 4 year olds, 5 year olds and 6 year olds” he continued. “These are the 25 year olds. The folks that are very mobile.”

Right now, he’s urging everyone to wear a mask.

“It’s critical that we do that because we have the power to stop this transmission,” he explained. “It’s all on us to do it. Not on some government, not on some magic potion. We can do this with our activity if we take this seriously.

To find local Coronavirus testing sites, click here.

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