New COVID-19 cases trending younger

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With 176 new COVID-19 infections reported Friday in Hidalgo County, nearly half of those new cases were made up of people under the age of 30.

It’s a trend that has been showing up in the county COVID-19 reports for the last two weeks – and one that doesn’t surprise Hidalgo County Health Authority Ivan Melendez. 

“The reason that the younger people are testing positive is because they're the ones that are being tested.” Dr. Ivan Melendez said. “And the reason why is the natural evolution of disease, that is, chronological. And those people that are older are not being tested, they already had the vaccine." 

Dr. Melendez said these factors are playing a role in why younger people are popping up on the county's COVID reports. 

"The young people are saying, ‘if I get it, nothing's going to happen,’” Dr. Melendez said. “And not only that but ‘my mom already has a vaccine, my grandma has a vaccine, I'm not worried about it.’" 

According to Melendez, between eight and nine percent of hospital beds in the county are being used by COVID – and that concerns him.

He said there were 500 COVID-19 hospitalizations in January that went down to about 150 in March.

"And since March we haven't gotten less than 104, 110,” Melendez said. “Today's it's 126. So that number of people in the hospital is stuck there. That tells me that this virus is still in the community."

Melendez said this means people shouldn’t let their guard down – regardless of age.

"This virus is still dancing around, it's still dancing around in our community,” Melendez said. “To the extent it was before? No. Have we turned the corner? Yes. Are we at the finish line? No." 


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