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More Than Half Of Dallas County's New Coronavirus Cases In Last Month Are Younger People

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Dallas County continues to see a spike of Covid-19 cases and related deaths.

The county reported a single-day record 601 new positive tests Tuesday, bringing the total to 21,338.

There were 20 additional deaths, also a record, now totaling 373.

Of those 20 cases, two were men in their 30s.

The county says one of the men had been critically ill in a local hospital and had underlying high-risk health conditions.

The county says the other man was found dead in his home who didn't have underlying high risk health conditions.

Experts say younger people with Type-2 diabetes and obesity are vulnerable to Covid-19.

On Tuesday, the Director of the Dallas County Health and Human Services, Dr. Philip Huang called it a wake-up call.

"This is still extremely serious," he said.

Dallas County and the other large counties in Texas are seeing more younger people diagnosed with the virus.

Since June 1, Dallas County reports 52 percent of all new coronavirus cases have been people between the ages of 18 to 40.

Between March 10 and June 26, the county says 21 percent of people being treated in a hospital for the virus have been in that same age group.

During that same time period, six percent of the deaths in the county, have been between 17 and 40 years of age.

Dr. Huang said Tuesday younger people let their guard down when going to bars and house parties. "We've seen these clusters associated with birthday parties, family gatherings, these sorts of things."

The spike in cases in June is very different from what Texas saw in April and May.

Governor Greg Abbott said Sunday the test positivity rate jumped from just over four percent last month to more than 13 percent now.

He said, "We need to understand that Covid-19 has taken a very swift and very dangerous turn in Texas."

But the Governor said despite the increase in cases and hospitalizations, the state still had the second lowest death rate of the top 27 most affected states in the country."

Twenty-seven old Issac Newton of Richardson said he knows people his age can get the virus. "I am taking precautions."

He said he's not going to any large parties. "I'm not doing none of that. I'm going to stick to two or three people that I know and I'm around all the time and I'm going to leave it at that."

On Sunday, during a visit to Dallas with Vice President Mike Pence, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Coordinator said while Dallas County is experiencing a rapid increase in cases, the rate isn't as high as Harris, (Houston) Travis, (Austin) and Bexar (San Antonio) counties. "Dallas is more steady in its rate of increase. But I think in talking to your medical group here and to all the Texans, what we are seeing here is an increased rate of hospitalizations of 20 to 40 year olds."

Because younger people often show no symptoms and don't realize they have the virus, she urged them to help protect older relatives and friends. "I know it's difficult in the 20s and 30s, but really, just to ask every one of them to wear a mask, every single one of them, wear a mask."

Vice President Pence said Sunday that young people who are concerned about the virus should get tested regardless of whether they have symptoms.

He pledged to Governor Abbott the federal government would continue to fund five community test sites across Texas, including two in Dallas, "Every bit as long as Texas wants us to."

Now that the state has shut down bars and reduced restaurant in-dining occupancy to 50%, more people may have gatherings in their backyard over the July 4th holiday weekend.

Dr. Huang said, "We recommend no more than ten people in an indoor setting, but still with that universal cloth facial covering, usage and keeping the six foot physical distancing."

He said virtual gatherings are safer.

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