People living in Texas under 30-years-old who test positive for coronavirus are driving up the total cases in the states overall, Gov. Greg Abbott said at a press conference on Tuesday.
"There are certain counties where a majority of the people who are tested positive in that county are under the age of 30, and this typically results from people going to the bar type settings," Abbott said during the press conference. "That is the case in Lubbock County, Bexar County, Cameron County."
Abbott thinks the uptick in cases may have resulted from social gatherings during Memorial Day and possibly the reopening of bars and restaurants.
“There have been pictures that I have seen and others have seen about these bar type settings where clearly the standards are not being followed,” Abbott said. “Enforcements from the TABC should bring these types of settings more and align to being safer standards.”
In particular, Abbott talked about Hays County, where 476 of the 938 coronavirus cases were in those between ages 20 and 29. On Friday, that age group accounted for 42% of all cases. By Monday, that number inched up to 50%.
The median age of coronavirus cases in the city of Austin and Travis County has lowered from 39-year-olds last week to 38 this week. In the same area, patients ages 20 to 29 account for 24% of hospitalizations.
Dr. David Persse, a public health expert for the Houston Health Department, said a similar trend is occurring in Harris County.
"It is my current theory, that elder persons have become more vigilant in taking precautions," Persse told Texas Tribune.
Angela Clendenin, a researcher in epidemiology and biostatistics at Texas A&M University, said younger people could be behaving more irresponsibly than older people due to a perception they can stave off the ill effects of coronavirus.
"It boils down to behaviors," Clendenin told Texas Tribune. "Younger people, because they're asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, going about business as usual, still wanting to hang out with each other... They feel perfectly comfortable that they're fine and they will be fine."
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