Health officials in Idaho are seeing more COVID-19 cases among young people.
Last week, the cluster among bar goers in downtown Boise rose to 69 people.
Older people are at a higher risk of getting sick with and dying from COVID-19. In Idaho, more than 60% of the deaths are associated with nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
But recently, local health districts have warned that a large number of new cases in Idaho are among young people.
“They’re going out to the bars, they’re going out and having a good time," state epidemiologist Dr. Christine Hahn said at last week's City Club of Boise forum. "They don’t perceive themselves at risk of severe disease.”
Even if they aren’t at a high risk themselves, younger people can still affect the way the disease spreads, Hahn said.
“They all have family members, they all have coworkers, they all have people they could spread this to," she said.
During the City Club event, health officials also said they've seen people who got sick at Boise establishments spread the virus to other people, including in their homes.
Along with the Treasure Valley, health districts in the Magic Valley and eastern Idaho have also seen a recent increase in cases in people under the age of 50.
The South Central Public Health District, based in Twin Falls, said case rates remain high for people between the ages of 18 and 39. In counties such as Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln and Twin Falls, people under 50 account for the majority of COVID-19 cases.
“These are often the people we see working in our essential jobs,” said Logan Hudson, SCPHD Public Health Division Director.
Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen
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