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Hastings Public Health launching campaign to promote COVID-19 testing for young adults

By James Tubb [1]

BELLEVILLE – Hastings Prince Edward Public Health [2] is starting an initiative to remind young adults to get tested if they show any symptoms of COVID-19.

In a media release Monday, the health unit said there is evidence that people aged 20-29, are being affected by COVID-19 more than others and have higher rates of positive COVID-19 test results.

Public health says those showing higher positive test results may share a bedroom with a roommate, live in a household with five or more people or are employed at a workplace where physical distancing is a challenge. Many people in the 20 to 29 age group are living at least one of those situations.

“During the pandemic, please do not ignore your symptoms and assume it is just a cold. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, get tested as soon as possible”, said Dr. Piotr Oglaza, in the media release. Dr. Oglaza is the Medical Officer of Health and CEO at HPEPH.

Public Health asks that all residents still seek testing when experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 as directed by provincial screening tools.

However, they say the increasing rates of the virus among young adults make it especially important that this age group pay attention to their health and seek testing as soon as possible if they experience symptoms, even if they are mild.

HPEPH says while young adults are less likely to experience severe complications related to COVID-19, being infected with the virus increases the chance of spreading it to others, including those who are most vulnerable.

To stop the spread of COVID-19 in the region and remind residents of the importance of testing, HPEPH is launching the #GetTestedHPE [7] campaign and will be sharing social media messages over the coming weeks to encourage people to continue symptom monitoring and testing.

“Testing is free and confidential. You won’t get in trouble, and you will help keep yourself and those around you as safe as possible,” said Dr. Oglaza.

More to come.