Beaufort Memorial reports increase in young patients with COVID-19

Beaufort Memorial reports increase in young patients with COVID-19

BEAUFORT CO, S.C. (WTOC) - COVID-19 cases in the Lowcountry are back on the rise and Beaufort Memorial Hospital says it’s not the older population that should be worried right now.

Hospitalizations have gone down in Beaufort while positive cases are on the rise. Beaufort Memorial Hospital says nearly a month ago they saw between 20 to 30 COVID patients at any given time. Now, they are treating typically between three and seven. Even fewer are on ventilators.

But they have noticed an alarming change: most of the patients they are seeing are younger.

“We are seeing a spike in the younger demographic and we’ve really kind of looked at two groups specifically," said Russell Baxley, the CEO of Beaufort Memorial Hospital. "The 18 to 30 and the 31 to 40 group. And right now we are seeing both groups trending above what they have been trending in the last or the first two months of when we first entered into this pandemic.”

The hospital believes the infections are appearing in younger people because the older population is still wearing masks and taking precautions while the younger population is not. In addition, younger people may be working in more close contact industries like the service or hospitality industry.

“It’s mostly the younger demographic that are catching it and they are maybe not as sick, but they are catching it at a faster rate than they did for those first two months,” Baxley said.

Doctors say the best way to avoid getting sick is to still hold those best practices: wash your hands, wear a mask, and stay socially distant.

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