By James Tubb 
BELLEVILLE – Hastings Prince Edward Public Health’s  new campaign is urging young adults to take COVID-19 symptoms seriously.
In a news 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 nurse Katrina Baxter emphasizes that now is not the time to work through even the smallest of symptoms and that young adults should get tested if they show even mild symptoms.
“The big thing we are trying to emphasize is that people should not ignore mild symptoms. We are so used to just powering through and going to work anyway. This is not the time for that,” she said.
Public health reports that 38 per cent of their COVID-19 cases are from people who fall in the group aged 20-29. They also say 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.
For Baxter, this push to get tested is not about condemning the age group, but urging them to keep others in mind when it comes to COVID-19.
“The campaign is not only directed at the person who is 20-29, it’s about protecting everyone around them,” Baxter said.http://www.qnetnews.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Loyalist-College-2.m4a 
HPEPH has launched a targeted public health campaign aimed at increasing COVID-19 testing and lower infection rates in 20-29 year olds. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms (even if mild), please #GetTestedHPE . Learn more: https://t.co/5ADBejB5U4  pic.twitter.com/AmAmj4z7AO 
— HPE Public Health (@HPEPublicHealth) January 26, 2021 
Public Health asks that all residents still seek testing when experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 as directed by provincial screening tools.
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.
Loyalist College student Alexis Edgley says the new campaign is something she welcomes, having had her own close-call with COVID-19.
She says she woke up one morning in November with multiple symptoms of COVID-19. She had a sore throat, coughing, and body aches and was immediately concerned for her roommates, as some are high risk.
“Immediately I messaged my roommate and gave her the heads up. We all immediately put our masks on and within two hours I was getting tested as a precaution,” she said.
She was working at at the Quinte Mall at the time and had multiple roommates which made her a higher risk for contracting/spreading the virus by public health’s data. Luckily for Edgley, the test came back negative.
For the third year animation and game development major, getting tested if she presented any symptoms again is an easy decision.
“Most definitely, it’s not just me I am affecting,” Edgley said.
Public health says the social media campaign will run into February and could potentially return if the need to further drive the point across to young adults arises.