TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Every county across the state is seeing a different age demographic lead in COVID-19 cases.
Here in Tippecanoe County, those mostly testing positive are between the ages of 20 to 29. This has been the trend since the first known case hit the county in March.
"A lot of people have been asking is that due to the fact that we have the university here? And so I don't think so because they closed down pretty early on," said Khala Hochstedler, Tippecanoe County Health Department administrator.
Right now in the county, 23% of those who test positive for COVID-19 in the county are between the age of 20 to 29 year-olds. Hochstedler said there could be a number of reasons why but she thinks it could be linked to the kinds of jobs they work.
"We have seen it in factory settings, we've seen it in restaurants we've seen it in office settings, in families," said Hochstedler.
These areas are where most of the COVID-19 patients in the county have been contracting the virus. With Purdue University having a large population that falls between the ages of 20 to 29, Hochstedler is encouraging the campus area to get prepared.
"All the businesses need to be taking measures and thinking about the plan because you know we're looking at increasing our population by 35,000, and so, making sure that you have a plan in place," said Hochstedler.
Studies have shown COVID-19 patients most at risk are ages of 60 and up. Here in Tippecanoe County, cases in the 60-69 age range are at 11.8%, ages 70-79 are at 6.1%, and ages 80+ are at 2.9%.
"From a public health standpoint that's probably the biggest concern because those folks in that age group, the 20-29, they're not likely to get really sick but if they have it and then they go and then they spread it to their parents or to their grandparents, those are the people that are most likely to get really sick," said Dr. Marc Estes, chief of emergency medicine at IU Health Arnett Hospital.
Dr. Estes said people of all ages can still enjoy the warm weather while keeping safety at the forefront.
"You still want to keep some social distancing obviously, no handshaking, no hugging, but if you're just out for a walk and it's a nice day, then there's no reason you can't do that," said Estes.
You can find the county demographics here.