Ages 20-39 account for half of ND’s active COVID-19 cases

Healthcare leaders continue urging the population to follow recommended safety guidelines against COVID-19. They include wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing and washing hands.

North Dakotans between ages 20-39 accounted for exactly half of the state’s active COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, June 30.

The 302 active cases confirmed by the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) included 94 individuals in their 20s and 57 individuals in their 30s. The remaining 151 active cases included 31 individuals among ages 0-19 and 120 individuals among ages 40 and older.

Healthcare leaders continue urging the population to follow recommended safety guidelines. Dr. Robert Redfield of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) testified Tuesday before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

“We have powerful tools at our disposal: social distancing, wear a face cover in public and be diligent about frequent hand washing,” Redfield said. “It’s imperative that we take the personal responsibility to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and embrace the universal use of face coverings.”

Redfield said he was specifically addressing “the younger members of our society, the millennials and the generation Zs.”

NDDoH’s June 30 report confirmed 830 COVID-19 cases to date among North Dakota individuals in their 20s and 846 cases to date among individuals in their 30s. As of June 30, no individual under age 40 has died from COVID-19. North Dakota’s 79 deaths to date have included 49 individuals age 80 and older.

“Redfield said evidence shows that the increase in cases in some U.S. states are driven by many factors,” CNN reported. “(They include) increased testing, community transmission and outbreaks in the settings such as nursing homes and occupational settings.”

Richland County, North Dakota, was down to one active local COVID-19 case Tuesday. Public Health Administrator Michelle Eberhardt has been following the pandemic’s progress and the population’s attitude toward recommended guidelines.

“It really comes down to this: if you’re going to have a family reunion, a bridal party, a bachelor party or anything with a bunch of people, you really have to look forward to a month from now,” Eberhardt said. “If I have this, can I possibly miss something that’s scheduled in the next 4-6 weeks? You have to consider the risk-benefit ratio for yourself.”

In general, the CDC stated, the more closely someone interacts with others and the longer they have an interaction, the higher the risk is of spreading COVID-19.

“Interacting with more people raises your risk. Being in a group with people who aren’t social distancing or wearing cloth face coverings increases your risk,” the CDC continued.

Some people don’t like face masks, Eberhardt said. She understands this.

“But would you rather put on a mask or stay home for the next month?” Eberhardt asked. “It’s so easy to do.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci also testified Tuesday, saying the number of new COVID-19 cases nationwide could reach 100,000 a day if America does not contain a present increase of cases.

“We’ve got to make sure that when states try and open again, they need to follow the guidelines that have been carefully laid out with regard to checkpoints,” Fauci said. “What we’ve seen in several states are different iterations of that, perhaps maybe in some going too quickly and skipping over some of the checkpoints.”

Public health officials do not want to prevent anyone from enjoying activities, Eberhardt said. It’s possible for Twin Towns Area residents to come out for Fourth of July events or hold gatherings at home. But there’s responsibility involved.

“Face masks should be worn with the understanding that they’re more about protecting others before you,” she said. “That still doesn’t take the place of remembering to wash your hands, remembering to follow social distancing and remembering that if you don’t feel good, stay home. We’ve just got to keep on being careful and being aware.”

If you have tested positive in the past for COVID-19 and would like to share your experience, please contact Daily News at franks@wahpetondailynews.com or by calling 701-642-8585 ext. 133. You may also contact Daily News if you have been a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and would like to share your experience.

For information on current COVID-19 cases in North Dakota, results by county and more, visit www.health.nd.gov/coronavirus.

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