The Southern Tier is starting to see some record high numbers with COVID-19 cases, and it’s because of younger people.
Darlene Smith, Steuben County Public Health Director, mentioned that before now it was mainly elderly getting hit hard, but that has led younger people to believing they’re immune in comparison, which isn’t the case.
There were 112 new cases reported on Wednesday in Steuben County, and 70% of them are under the age of 40.
The largest age group in that 70% are ages 0-11.
Smith said the Delta variant works hard to find a host, therefore targeting the unvaccinated. This puts kids under 12 at risk because they can’t be vaccinated.
For the county, the number of eligible kids that have been vaccinated is only 50%.
Dr. Justin Nistico, Infectious Disease Specialist at Arnot Health, says the mentality seems to be that younger people have stronger immune systems, so they don’t worry about becoming infected.
He says that is not the case with this virus.
Mortality rates have also increased by 10% due to the virus for those between ages 40 and 64.
It’s doubled from 2% to 4% in people under 40.
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