Maryland officials concerned with surge in COVID-19 cases among young people

With July 4 weekend just a few days away, some health experts in Maryland are warning young people to be extra cautious as they head out to celebrate - especially if going to the beaches. 

Today, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said that while the state saw fewer new confirmed COVID-19 infections in June, the virus is beginning to spread rapidly among young people.

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Now, not only the governor, but elected health officials are telling them to be extra careful about taking precautions against the novel coronavirus because they know the young crowd will be going to the beaches in the DMV where they will also mix and mingle and might even be in close quarters.

Hogan noted that sometimes young people believe they are “bulletproof” and that while many of them may be asymptomatic, they can still infect vulnerable people such as their grandparents.

Restaurant guests take a ride on a CRUISIN' TIKIS, a floating bar, as Fish Tails bar and grill opens for in-person dining, amid the coronavirus pandemic, on May 29, 2020, in Ocean City, Maryland. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

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He went on to say that younger people seem to be ignoring those public health guidelines. 

He says the current rate of infections in Maryland under the age of 35 is now shockingly 52 percent higher than the rate among those 35 and older. 

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Montgomery County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Travis Gayles says that there is a higher trend across the country and across the regions where officials are seeing a higher percentage of cases popping up within the younger categories - 0 to 17 and 17 to 29.

He says they’re also starting to see a higher percentage of those young people having complications related to COVID-19.

“Young people do have a sense of invincibility because all of the literature suggests that even if they get it they are less likely to have consequences both in the short term and the long term and the reality is we don’t know what the long term effects are and the impact,” Gayles said.

According to Gayles, there are a couple of reasons behind that. One is, lots of young people have gone to beaches during high-capacity events that have broken the capacity rules are interacting with one another in close contact. 

“Parents at home should understand that it is not safe to have kids going out loosely and freely and making sure that when they do that they follow the same precautions that we are following as adults including wearing face coverings minimizing contact with others outside of your social network and making sure to maximize the physical distancing as best as possible,” Gayles said.

FOX 5’s Ayesha Khan also reached out to officials in other parts of Maryland, but she has yet to hear back from them.