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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

'Worry about your grandparents': Ohio youth see virus surge

The latest round of cases disproportionately struck younger Ohioans, with 60% being reported among people 20 to 49.

Ohioans were cautioned Thursday to return to being vigilant about social distancing, mask-wearing and hand-washing, after cases of COVID-19 hit their highest mark since mid-April.

The latest round of cases disproportionately struck younger Ohioans, with 60% being reported among people 20 to 49, according to figures from the Ohio Department of Health. The average age of Ohioans getting the disease once thought to be a particular threat to the elderly has now dropped to 42.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine called Thursday's numbers — 858 new confirmed cases, 20 hospitalizations and 14 deaths overnight — “chilling.”

“If you don't worry about yourself, worry about your grandparents,” DeWine said, speaking to his “friends in their 20s.”

The governor said increased testing for the new coronavirus could not entirely explain the rise in Ohio cases. However, additional test results are giving an increasingly clearer picture of the disease's presence in younger age groups who were not included in rounds of early testing reserved for health care workers or those who were already sick, he said.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

10TV is committed to bringing you a FACTS NOT FEAR approach to our coronavirus reporting. You can count on 10TV to give you the latest developments and the impacts on you and your family. For complete coverage, visit: 10TV.com/coronavirus.

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.