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Jackson County, Ill. sees its highest single-day of coronavirus cases; many from young people

Updated: Jul. 20, 2020 at 9:56 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Ill. (KFVS) - The Jackson County Health Department reported 23 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, July 20.

They said Monday’s new cases are the most recorded in a single day in Jackson County since the start of the pandemic.

The new cases include:

  • Female - two teens, 11 in their 20s and two in their 50s
  • Male - five in their 20s, one in his 30s, one in his 50s and one in his 60s

According to the health department, they acquired the virus through either contact with known cases or through transmission in the community. They are being placed in isolation.

The health department said more than 40 percent of the new confirmed cases in Jackson County during July have been from individuals in their late teens and 20s.

“This is a particularly challenging demographic to work with on COVID-19, as they are generally social in nature, and typically have fewer symptoms and less complications when they contract the disease,” said Bart Hagston, health department administrator. “However, their exposure helps drive further transmission in the community, potentially bringing the disease to others who experience poor health outcomes, including elderly individuals and those with chronic health conditions.”

The health department said younger people present an added challenge when trying to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Southern Illinois University student Scott Benzinger, 21, agreed.

“Just people getting out more more events happening, especially here in Carbondale like on the strip a couple nights ago there was an event,” he said. “But it’s just a matter of getting students, our age group in general to listen to that which may not be the easiest.”

Walking along the SIU campus with Benzinger, 21 year-old University of Illinois student Heather Gathman said she has faith in her peers and tries to lead by example.

“Obviously I’m on a walk and not wearing a mask right now, but when I go out somewhere public and I know I’m going to be in close vicinity with people, then yeah I’m going to wear a mask,” Gathman said.

As of Monday, there have been 425 confirmed cases in the county, including 19 related deaths. Of the total number of cases, 328 have been released from isolation in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Currently, 78 active cases are being managed.

Additionally, as a part of the contract tracing grant from the state, JCPHD is bringing on 14 additional people to expand their tracing efforts.

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