CHESAPEAKE, Va - The COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet and around the country, hospitals are seeing an increase in younger COVID-19 patients.
Emergency room physician at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center Dr.Lewis Siegel says there's been an uptick in younger patients coming into the emergency room with COVID-19 symptoms.
“It is a higher percentage of patients we’re seeing in the younger categories. We’re seeing more of the patients in their 50s, 40s and 30s that are coming in with COVID," Dr. Siegel said.
The emergency room physician says it’s simply because younger people are not getting vaccinated.
“With the trend towards more of the older patients being vaccinated than the younger folks who haven’t gotten vaccinated yet, we’re seeing more of them. Every shift I work, I see younger patients coming into the emergency department. It is a change, we saw consistently older patients for most of the past year. So, it is certainly a change and a concerning trend," Dr. Siegel said.
This comes as federal health officials remain worried about a troubling rise in youth cases.
“We expect the cases identified in schools will also increase. This is not necessarily indicative of school-based transmission," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, the director of the CDC.
According to the Virginia Department of Health, only 5,344 of individuals under the age of 30 in Chesapeake have been fully vaccinated and 26,516 individuals between the ages of 30 and 60 have been fully vaccinated.
"Everyone is vulnerable, and young people can get very sick. We’re still in this, and we still have a ways to go."