Teens, young adults crucial in fight against virus, ODH says

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

Teens and young adults are leading the surge in positive coronavirus test rates.

Lance D. Himes, interim director of the Ohio Department of Health called on Ohio teens and young adults Friday afternoon to take precautions to protect themselves and others against the dangers of COVID-19.

The plea comes the day after health officials in Montgomery County asked for the public’s help to track down the approximately 50 teens who may have been exposed to the virus during a two-day pool party and sleepovers last week in Miamisburg.

“Teens and young people must do everything in their power to protect themselves, their families and friends, and all Ohioans against this very real and very serious threat,” Himes stated in a release. “You will save lives, prevent suffering, and help tame a pandemic that places all of us at risk.”

The average age of people with COVID-19 in Ohio has been steadily decreasing, showing that more and more young people are being exposed and have become ill. Even those who don’t experience symptoms or only mild ones can unknowingly carry the disease and pass it to parents, grandparents, or other family and friends, which can lead to serious illness or death.

Himes said it is essential that young people stay home and away from others if they are sick, adhere to 6-foot social distancing and wear facial coverings when they go out. Avoid gathering in large crowds, huddling in groups, and sharing hugs or drinks.

ODH has prepared guidelines for parents and others for talking with young people about COVID-19. The guidelines include tips for preventing the spread and navigating new social norms.

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