SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The COVID-19 novel coronavirus is now infecting younger people at a higher rate. The trend is happening across the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and the statement is consistent with Utah’s outbreak.

Data provided by the Utah Department of Health shows people within the 25-44 age group make up most of Utah’s confirmed cases, at 39-percent.

“I don’t think in general that young people are careless, or don’t care, but I think it’s just social factors,” explained Dr. Sankar Swaminathan.

The Chief of Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Utah said although younger people are less likely to be hospitalized or die from the virus, he also added, younger people are not immune.

“Not every young person is fit. There’s a lot of young people with asthma, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, you name it, cancer, undergoing chemo therapy, immune defects, etc. All those people are young as well. You may not be able to tell who they are, and they may be taking precautions but they’re also at risk.”

When the pandemic first started, Utah didn’t get his as hard as other states, but now the Beehive state is seeing a trend of increasing case counts, to which Dr. Swaminathan says is “concerning.”

“We now have one of the highest rates of new cases in the country. We have one of the highest rates of transmission in the country. We’re up there in the top dozen in a lot of these very bad statistics.”

The doctor told ABC4 News that people need to follow the basics:

  • Wear a mask
  • Social distance
  • Isolate if vulnerable

“The community effort and public health effort is really everyone’s responsibility, young and old,” he said.