Cases are on the rise, especially among people under 30, with clusters of outbreaks now traced to bars and graduation parties across Louisiana.
At the beginning of this pandemic, we were seeing the older population being put into the hospitals but now 18 years to 29-year-olds are almost half of the cases in Louisiana.
“We look at the ages that are people that are being hospitalized is a different picture,” said Dr. Tina Stefanski, with the Louisiana Department of Health.
She says the rise in numbers in young adults is alarming.
“Now what we’re seeing is community spread,” said Dr. Stefanski. “Over 95% of our cases that are in the community are younger adults. Of course, we’re seeing that reflected in the hospitalizations. We’re seeing younger people hospitalized so that should be a wake-up call to all of us￼￼￼.”
The contract tracers are finding large gatherings aren’t helping the situation in our area.
“We’re seeing a lot of house parties, a lot of parent sponsored events where they bringing lots of kids together that’s not a good idea,” said Dr. Stefanski.
Health care officials are also worried about the teens who vape catching the virus.
“Really vaping is bad on so many levels this is one more justification for parents to talk to their child about yet another reason vaping is harmful to our health.￼,” said Dr. Stefasnki.
The 18 to 29 year-olds are the fastest-growing age group for positive cases in Louisiana at 46% of cases.
That’s one of a few reasons Dr. Stefanski is urging parents to have a conversation with their kids.
“Parents need to talk to the kids when they are with their friends’’ said Dr. Stefanski. “Don’t share, don’t share drinks, don’t share cigarettes, don’t share Vape devices because that could be a mode of transmission”
Dr. Stefanski says Louisiana needs to mask up and social distance or in a couple of weeks it’ll be bad in our area.
“Really we need to act now so in a month we’re not in a position where we’re really again back to square one,” said Dr. Stefanski.