SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – California Governor Gavin Newsom has a dire message to all the young people ignoring state guidelines to practice social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“To all those young people that are still out there on the beaches thinking this is a party… time to grow up. Time to wake up. Time to recognize it’s not just about the ‘old folks,’ it’s about your impact on their lives. Don’t be selfish,” Governor Newsom said in a news conference Saturday.

The governor’s plea comes as an alarming number of “young people” were seen out in public not practicing social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, not only around the Bay Area but also in other states like Florida where college students are still flocking to beaches for spring break.

The defiance of California’s guidelines to shelter-in-place has prompted crackdowns by local authorities on people who aren’t complying with the mandate.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo over the weekend also addressed young people defying stay-at-home orders, saying people from ages 18 to 49 account for more than half of the state’s coronavirus cases.

The message comes after a common misconception among young people that they can not contract the virus continues to spread. Many of the young people apparently believe the coronavirus only affects the elderly.

A report issued last week by the CDC reveals that young people actually make up a big portion of hospitalizations, but the risk of dying remains significantly higher in older people.

The cases of around 2,500 patients with unknown ages in the US were analyzed by the CDC, revealing that 20% of the 508 patients known to have been hospitalized were younger between the ages of 20 and 44, while 18% were between ages 45 and 54, according to the report.

The highest percentage of hospitalized patients was 26% between ages 65 and 84 years.

Nearly 40 million Californians are under stay-at-home orders, with people urged to leave only for “essential activities.”

Keep in mind that it’s perfectly okay to go out and take a walk, get some fresh air, and clear your head. That isn’t against the law.

But anyone who does go outside is strongly urged to practice social distancing – keep at least 6 feet away from others, especially the elderly and those who appear to be sick.

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