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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolinians under the age of 30 are testing positive for COVID-19 in increasing numbers the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported today.

As of recently, 4,160 of the 22,608 confirmed cases in South Carolina are people ages 21 to 30. This accounts for 18.4% of all confirmed cases in the state. Additionally, people in their teens account for 7.0% of confirmed cases.

“The increases that we’re seeing serve as a warning that young adults and youth are not immune to COVID-19,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC physician consultant. “They also tell us that younger South Carolinians are not taking social distancing seriously.”

Since April 4, data from the agency shows that there has been a 413.9% increase in newly reported COVID-19 cases among the 21-30 age group, and a 966.1% increase in newly reported COVID-19 cases among the 11-20 age group. This data follows national trends that indicate a growing number of young adults and youth being confirmed to have COVID-19.

“While it is true that most youth and younger adults with COVID-19 only experience a mild illness, that is not true for all,” Traxler said. “In addition, it’s important to remember that even with mild or no symptoms you can spread the disease to those around you – your friends, teammates, and family.

 We’re calling on our younger generation of South Carolinians to be leaders in their communities by taking actions to stop the spread of COVID-19. Lead by example and use your voice to let others know that social distancing and wearing a mask in public helps save lives.”