As COVID-19 cases in Georgia continue to climb, it’s not just people aged 65 and older or those with underlying medical conditions that are at risk of contracting the virus and having medical impacts. In recent weeks, young adults in their 20s and 30s have now been accounting for a greater share of the reported cases.
Wellstar health experts are concerned about the shift in demographics and how it is affecting the community as the virus continues to spread.
“Because young, healthy adults may be less likely to experience serious COVID-19 symptoms, they may be putting their guard down when it comes to taking precautions against infection,” said Dr. Paul Murphree, Vice President of Medical Outcomes for Wellstar Health System. “But the truth is, COVID-19 has no age limits – people of all ages can contract and spread the virus. In fact, teens and young adults are potentially more prone to contribute to the spread since they tend to be more mobile than other age demographics and may be working in high-touch jobs during the pandemic.”
“Not only are younger people leading the uptick in positive cases, they may be asymptomatic carriers of the virus,” said Dr. Alan Muster, Senior Vice President, Specialty Division Wellstar Medical Group, for Wellstar Health System. “This means they could potentially transmit COVID-19 to many others in their circle of contact if they’re not following the proper safety protocols – and this impacts everyone and everything. Because younger populations are so active, we need them to lead the charge in adopting and modeling best practices like wearing masks, washing hands, and social distancing to protect themselves and others.”
Reduce Your Risk of Getting Sick
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it’s important to help reduce your risk of getting sick by following preventative health measures.
Use these tips to keep yourself and others in the community safe:
Make masks a priority. Wear a mask or cloth face covering when in close proximity to others. The best treatment we have right now against contracting and spreading COVID-19 is wearing a mask. Have fun with it and make your mask a fashion statement.
Keep your circle small. Although it may be tempting to attend a large gathering with your friends and family, be sure to avoid groups of more than ten people.
Practice social distancing. Maintain a safe distance of six feet between yourself and others in public. Remember, wearing a mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing.
Take care of yourself. Practice preventative health measures like frequent handwashing (for at least 20 seconds), covering coughs and sneezes, and keeping your medical check-ups on the schedule.
Refrain from smoking and vaping. Smoke in your lungs does damage that makes you more susceptible to infection and medical complications. Also, sharing a cigarette or vape pen could cause infection, and the smoke may aerosolize the virus, spreading it to others.
Stay social while you stay at home. Connect with friends virtually over the phone or video chat, instead of having an in-person meeting. Take care of your mental health by staying connected with others.
Avoid drugs and alcohol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), substances can weaken your body’s ability to fight infections such as COVID-19.
Be smart about your plans. When possible, visit shared spaces during slower times to avoid crowds and limit contact with others.
Consider postponing unnecessary travel. Taking trips and traveling may put yourself or others at a higher risk of infection.
Stay home if you feel sick. If you aren’t feeling well, stay home so you don’t get sicker and to protect the people you interact with. However, if you are experiencing an immediate medical emergency, get help right away.
Safe Care for Everyone
Wellstar Health System is committed to providing the best and safest care for patients of all ages. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, all Wellstar locations have put additional measures in place to keep you and your family safe.
For details about how Wellstar is ensuring the safety of patients and team members, visit wellstar.org/safecare or call (770) 956-STAR (7827).