SOUTH CAROLINA, USA — The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control says young people ages 21 to 30 continue to account for the highest number of coronavirus cases in the Palmetto State. As of August 12, that age group made up 20% of all cases statewide. Today, that number has dropped slightly to 19.9%.
In a statement sent to News 19, DHEC said, "this continues to be a trend nationally, and we associate the high cases in young people due to participation in group gathering and a lack of social distancing and lack of mask-wearing among that demographic."
The agency recently started releasing more COVID-19 data by county, including cases reported by age group.
In Richland County, people ages 21 to 30 have the highest case count at 22.1% as of August 12. The 31 to 40 age group ranks second at 16.4%, while ages 11 to 20 closely follows with 16.1%.
In Lexington County, 21 to 30 year olds make up 19.9% of the cases, while ages 31 to 40 account for 16.2% of cases in the county. People ages 41 to 50 and 51 to 60 years old each make up just over 15% of the cases.
Sumter County shares a similar story, with 21 to 30 year old's accounting for the most cases at 17.4%. The 51 to 60 age group ranks second at 15.5% of the county's total cases.
In Orangeburg County, the numbers are slightly different. Here, the 51 to 60 age group has the highest case county at 17.1%. People ages 41 to 50 make up 14.4% of cases. The 21 to 30 ages group ranks fourth highest at 13%.
According to DHEC, the agency is still pushing the importance of mask-wearing, social distancing, and avoiding group gatherings to help limit the virus spread.
"Although young people tend to experience less severe illness from COVID-19," says DHEC. "They run the risk of contributing to the spread of it among those at higher risk for the disease, including those who could become hospitalized or die if they contract it."