EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Vice President Mike Pence says more than 2,500,000 positive COVID-19 cases have been confirmed across the country, killing over 126,000 Americans.
The new numbers were released during a White House coronavirus task force briefing on Friday - the first in nearly two months.
The task force had one purpose when it formed, and that was to save lives. Many recommendations like wearing a face mask and social distancing remain in place, but some health leaders say it seems as though some are not taking it seriously.
Right now, one-third of Vanderburgh County’s positive COVID-19 cases fall between the ages of 20 and 35, according to Lynn Herr with the Vanderburgh County Health Department.
“It’s surprising, but I feel like if a lot of people continue to wear a mask and washing their hands, that helps a lot,” Evansville resident Evan Braun said.
With more testing available than ever before, the nation’s coronavirus task force is now reporting 16 states have cases on the rise.
“A risk for you is not just isolated to you because if you get infected,” Dr. Anthony Fauci stated. “You are a part, innocently or inadvertently, of propagating the dynamic process of a pandemic.”
The amount of positive cases in younger people is not the only number on the rise. Investigators with the Vanderburgh County Health Department say the contacts are increasing too, which provides extra challenges for the tracers.
“It kind of tells us that the social distancing, the mask wearing, have gone by the wayside in this age group more than the other age groups,” Lynn Herr explained.
Dr. Karl Sash, a local physician, says we never got the surge medical leaders were preparing for, but added it could still come depending on choices people make.
“We totally understand that young people feel immune, young people feel overwhelmed with restrictions,” Dr. Sash told 14 News. “But there has got to be a new normal, and that new normal means in most situations out of your home, you’re wearing a mask.”
Overall, health leaders agree the younger age group, along with those who are healthy, do not tend to get as sick, but added the virus is undoubtedly being spread if safety measures are not followed.
“We can’t fool ourselves,” Dr. Sash added. “Just because one person has a simple, or innocent case, that the next person isn’t going to die.”
Some states are scaling back on reopening plans.
Texas leaders ordered bars to close and a reduction of restaurant capacity.
Indiana is set to fully reopen on July 4.