LOS ANGELES - Doctors are treating more young patients at hospitals for COVID-19 as cases rise in California.
Recent statistics show more than 50% of COVID-19 cases in California are 18-49 years old.
"We had hoped that we had it under control, and it would be dropping, but it hasn't happened, and instead it has started to rise," said Dr. Suman Radhakrishna, Director of Infection Prevention at Dignity Health California Hospital Medical Center.
Dr. Radhakrishna said some of the patients have underlying health conditions.
"They have asthma, are overweight, young people with diabetes, young people with high blood pressure, cancers, transplants. They are probably doing a little better than our parents and grandparents in the sense of more likely to leave the hospital, but it's still very preliminary, but no one has to go through this torture, and this illness," she said.
Radhakrishna believes young people going out is contributing to the rise in cases.
"Because of the fact that we have relaxed a little bit. When I am questioning my patients and asking them where do you think you got it, they tell me that their family members all tested positive so I'm wondering if some of the relaxation includes going out, your backyard BBQ's," she said.
Radhakrishna said in the beginning, experts were urging older people to be careful, but now everyone needs to be careful.
"We said you have to protect your parents, you have to protect your grandparents, and now we're realizing it's not just protecting your parents and grandchildren, it's also about taking care of yourself because I'm seeing 20-25 year old people so short of breath in the hospital, it's not funny and these kids should not be there," she said.
On Friday, people gathered outside of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena to get some fresh air, most practiced social distancing.
"We've been trying to stay inside, but at the same time with little ones, what can you do so coming out in the park, we figure it's ok as long as we keep our social distance," Moshie said with her 2-year-old son, Marcello.
Rock, who works at a hospital, also talked about the COVID-19 increase in young people.
"Young people, it's harder for us to stay home. We're used to being out and about and doing stuff. I can see why people want to go out, I'm outside. I got tired of being stuck at home, but just follow the rules, it's not that hard to wear a mask," he said.
Doctors are urging people to practice safety measures to prevent COVID.
"You have to go to work, I understand, but wear a mask, hand sanitizer, wash your hands and keep the distance," said Radhakrishna.