Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says the number of cases of COVID-19 in Ohio, which had been trending upward in the past week, took a sharp jump up in the past 24 hours, with 892 additional cases.
Even more worrisome the governor says, is that 60% of that increase is among younger people, age 20-49.
A large part of the increase is coming from the greater Cincinnati area; Hamilton and surrounding counties. Dr. Richard Lofgren, president and CEO of UC Health says there has been been a dramatic increase in the number of cases among the 20-29 age group there. Looking at the data, Lofgren says in April and May, the rate of cases among people in that age range was about 10%. In early June, it began to decline....
Lofgren says research shows younger people tend to have fewer complications from COVID-19, and often have fewer symptoms. Which means they are more likely to be unwitting spreaders of the virus.
Lofgren says it's too early to determine what might be causing the spike in that age group, but he repeated the governor's advice that wearing a mask, practicing good hand hygiene, and maintaining physical distance is still the best way to control the spread of the virus. Dewine says the state is paying very close attention to rates of infection in various counties.
Dewine has not required wearing masks in Ohio, but he is not ruling out the possiblity of mandatory masks in hotspots. State health officials say the large increase in positive cases doesn't seem to be connected to any one large even, but are more likely the result of multiple smaller gatherings. As of Thursday afternoon the Ohio Department of Health reported 47,651 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio, and 2,772 deaths.