Shasta County Public Health sees rise in cases from small gatherings and younger age groups

Shasta County Public Health says in the last few weeks it's noticed a lot of its cases are coming from small gatherings and as cases climb, the coronavirus doesn’t discriminate in age.

Posted: Jul 9, 2020 7:00 PM
Updated: Jul 9, 2020 7:12 PM

REDDING, Calif. - Shasta County is seeing a rise in coronavirus cases.

Shasta County Public Health says in the last few weeks it's noticed a lot of its cases are coming from small gatherings. Which ranged from small parties to friends getting together.

Public Health says while it seems harmless, it's putting others at risk.

“I think everybody should take precautions,” said Charles Oppitz of Redding. “Especially the people who have comorbidities, whether it’s another illness or age vector.”

“The people that are testing positive have had contact with lots of people and it's really taxing on our contact tracing team,” said Kerri Schuette with the Shasta Health and Human Services Agency.

At a press conference on July 8, Public Health said about a dozen people who traveled out of the county, whether for weddings, work, or a bridal show, tested positive.

But another concern is the high number of people in quarantine. Public Health says while those people have not tested positive, they are identified are people who had close contact with positive cases.

But as Shasta County sees cases climb, the coronavirus doesn’t discriminate in age. The county is seeing more young people testing positive. Public Health says the majority of its positive cases are under the age of 50-years-old. While the average age of someone testing positive in the county is 43-years-old.

“These new demographics are absolutely alarming,” said Van Banghart of Anderson.

“You hear the first reports of age groups and demographics and you think you're strong enough.”

“We've seen people all the way from children, up to people in their eighty’s and for the most part they’re sort of clustered in that twenty’s, thirty’s, forty’s and fifty’s age group,” said Schuette.

At the start pandemic, Public Health said the people at the highest risk included the elderly population and people with pre-existing health conditions. Public Health believes the reason those numbers have been low is that those groups have been staying home more and limiting everyday activities.

As coronavirus cases continue to spike, the agency says it does not do enforcement but instead is relying on people to do their part.

Public Health says that means people should follow state guidelines, such as wearing face coverings and social distancing.

Redding Police Chief Bill Schueller said in June that he would not be enforcing mask order.

In a post to Facebook, he said "The limited Redding Police Department resources must be prioritized for more immediate public safety issues. We do ask that you comply with requests from businesses to wear a mask."

Action News Now also reached to both the Anderson Police Department and Red Bluff Police Department to see where they stand on enforcement but have not yet heard back.

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