Data shows one in four new coronavirus cases in Suffolk among people aged 15 to 25
More than a quarter of new coronavirus cases in Suffolk are among people aged between 15 and 25, shock new data reveals.
And 37 per cent of cases are among 20-39 year olds, prompting fears that some young adults are ignoring social distancing rules.
It is understood that an increase in numbers of people being tested has helped identify cases, but the prevalence in younger people has meant additional efforts are being put into making them aware of the consequences of not social distancing.
Stuart Keeble, director of Public Health Suffolk, said: “The age range of those newly infected is continuing to fall when compared to the height of coronavirus cases.
“Analysis of Suffolk data from in July and August show that 20-39 year olds accounted for 21.8 per cent of cases in July, and 37.5 per cent of cases in August.
“The coronavirus doesn’t discriminate on age. If you don’t follow measures to keep yourself safe, such as social distancing, you run the risk of getting infected, but also run the risk of infecting those you live with, including those who may be at high risk.
“Regardless of age, everyone must continue to follow guidance – it exists to keep you safe.”
The figures showed that back in March just one per cent of Covid-19 cases involved those in the 15-25 age bracket compared to 27 per cent in August.
As a result, a new campaign is being prepared to target younger people with a key message “just because you’re over it, doesn’t mean it’s over” and is likely to feature messaging through football clubs, gyms and podcasts among other avenues.
Elsewhere, the public health team told the county’s first Local Outbreak Engagement Board meeting that it has set up a public spaces group aimed at ensuring public events go ahead safely, while a community intervention team has also been established.
That group consists of 120 voluntary groups and 90 individuals who are key among some of Suffolk’s communities which may not be getting important messages as easily.
It includes individuals who can speak Polish, Romanian and Portuguese to help ensure people in those communities can understand the key messages and updates being issued.
A leaflet has also been prepared which explains the test and trace process, which can be delivered to all Suffolk households – more than 340,000 properties – should a second spike hit the county.
Mr Keeble added: “We are still nowhere near where we were at the peak previously, but it is something we need to be keeping an eye on, and as a team we are continually monitoring the data.”