DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado is seeing a small surge in COVID-19 cases and they’re mostly from teenagers and people in their 20s, according to public health experts.
The increase started the week of June 14, said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist.
“We’re seeing this disease occurring in younger populations, which is good, because we know younger populations are less likely to have severe outcomes,” Herlihy said Wednesday. “This also emphasizes the message that we need younger Coloradans also to be practicing higher levels of social distancing and mask wearing.”
People who are 20 to 29 years old make up the largest group of coronavirus cases in Colorado.
Despite the increase in positive case numbers, Colorado continues to see much lower COVID-19 hospitalization numbers than it did just a month ago. As of Wednesday, 134 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus in the state.
“Even if you’re young and just have a mild disease, the concern is that you’ll transmit it to somebody more vulnerable,” said Dr. Connie Price, Denver Health’s chief medical officer.
This includes family members, friends and coworkers.
Also, young people are more likely to spread the virus and not even know it, said Dr. Beth Carlton, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Colorado School of Public Health.
“We do know that young people are more likely to be infected without symptoms,” Carlton said. “If you’re a young person and you’re out in the community…it means you could be infected and spread it to others. Proceed with caution.”