Age of COVID-19 cases trending lower since testing broadened
In this April 20, 2020 photo, Catherine Hopkins, Director of Community Outreach and School Health at St. Joseph's Hospital, right, performs a test on a patient in a COVID-19 triage tent at St. Joseph's Hospital in Yonkers, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
KITCHENER -- More people under 40 have tested positive for COVID-19 since testing expanded to include the general public.
Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said during a Tuesday morning media briefing that 247 people have tested positive in Waterloo Region since May 25, the date that testing partners started testing people without medical referrals.
The most positive cases were found in adults aged 20 to 29, while the age groups of 30 to 39 and 19 and under were also frequently the ones testing positive.
While people over 80 still make up the highest percentage of cases on the region's website, only 13 cases have been identified in that age group since the 25th.
Dr. Wang said this shift in demographics is "not unexpected" since testing originally focused on the outbreaks in long-term care and retirement homes, as well as on health-care workers and their families.
That meant that a large number of people under 30 were ineligible to be tested when the pandemic first reached the region.
"Therefore we are seeing a more fulsome understanding of the distribution of cases among various age groups in our community," she said during Tuesday's briefing.
People under 40 now make up about a third of all cases in Waterloo Region: four per cent in people under 19, 15 per cent in people aged 20 to 29, and 14 per cent in people aged 30 to 39.
Dr. Wang said Tuesday that it's possible these increases had to do with people not physically distancing when they should have been, but says it's impossible to say for sure.
Those aged 40 to 49 also make up 14 per cent of cases, while the 50 to 59 age group constitutes 16 per cent of cases.
More than 3,000 tests have been done since Friday of last week.
There are currently 68 active cases in Waterloo Region. To date, 1,325 people have tested positive for the virus, including 1,141 cases that have been marked "resolved."
A total of 116 people have died.