Health officials warn of increasing COVID-19 cases in young people

Coronavirus in West Virginia

A 3-D rendering of the coronavirus (Getty Images).

KANAWHA-CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Health officials from the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department said Friday morning COVID-19 cases are increasing in young people throughout the county.

According to county data from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, the age groups in Kanawha County with the largest number of COVID-19 cases right now are ages 10-19 and 40 to 49.

Officials report that as of Thursday, there were 11 open Kanawha school COVID-19 outbreaks affecting 75 students and five staff members. Many of the school outbreaks are tied to kids playing sports. The health department received positive COVID-19 test results Friday morning for 16 kids under age 18.

The KCHD is also reporting a rise in county hospitalizations due to COVID-19. They say the average age of people hospitalized is in their 60s, but hospitalizations range from ages under 18 to 80+ years old. The health department also announced its first detected case of the B.1.1.7. (UK) variant of COVID-19 earlier this week.

“We need to be diligent as things open up and continue to wear our masks, keep six feet away from other people, avoid congregate settings and frequently wash our hands. Get a COVID-19 vaccine when it’s available to you. Be mindful that kids under age 16 cannot be vaccinated. Be careful with kids playing sports.”

Dr. Sherri Young, health officer and executive director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department continues vaccination efforts and county residents wanting to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine can call KCHD at 304-348-8080.

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