LEESBURG, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Loudoun County health officials are reporting an increase in positive COVID-19 test over the last week among teens and young adults in the age groups from 10 to 19 years old and from 20 to 29 years old.
“We are taking a closer look at these cases to determine what may be causing the increase in COVID-19 among our younger population,” said Loudoun County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend in a statement. “I suspect that many teens and young adults are increasingly participating in activities that involve larger gatherings of people, such as beach week and other celebrations, which has increased their exposure to others outside their families.”
Officials say more than half of those who tested positive in Loudoun were 29 years old or younger. Over the past week alone, officials say 150 people between the ages of 16 and 18 tested positive for COVID-19 – a number that represents 58 percent of all people in this age group since the pandemic began.
“While younger people may feel invincible, it is critical that all of us take the necessary precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19 because the virus is still circulating in our community, particularly staying home and away from others when sick and wearing face coverings while in public,” Goodfriend’s statement added.
Health officials say events like senior week, beach trips, house parties and Fourth of July celebrations pose danger if the proper safety precautions are not followed.
The Loudoun County Health Department recommends following these guidelines:
- Avoid large gatherings of people and sharing living spaces with people outside your immediate household.
- Practice social distancing: stay 6 feet apart from others whenever possible.
- Wear a face covering over the nose and mouth while in public, particularly indoors.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds; use hand sanitizer that contains at least - 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available.
- Stay home when sick, except when seeking medical care.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, including in your home.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces frequently.
- Cover coughs and sneezes when not wearing a face covering.
- Health officials urge anyone who has been in a large gathering and develops symptoms of COVID-19 to see a doctor and to notify others who were with them so they can take precautions as well.