Experts warn younger people that coronavirus can make them seriously ill

(CNN) - New data shows that people of all ages can get seriously ill from the coronavirus, not just the elderly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 40 percent of patients in the U.S. who were sick enough to be hospitalized were between ages 20 and 54.

The head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force is pleading with young adults to take the outbreak seriously and stop socializing in groups.

“There are concerning reports coming out of France and Italy about some young people getting seriously ill and very seriously ill in the ICUs," Dr. Deborah Birx said. "We cannot have these large gatherings that continue to occur while people are off work.”

President Donald Trump signed a new coronavius aid package into law after weeks of downplaying the scope of the pandemic.

“It’s the invisible enemy. That’s always the toughest enemy, the invisible enemy. But we’re going to finish to fight the invisible enemy,” he said.

The U.S. Navy is deploying two hospital ships, one heading to New York City, where the mayor says there’s a dire need for additional medical support.

“We’re almost to 2,000 cases right now in New York City alone," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "That’s going to cause a surge into our hospitals.”

Protecting yourself from coronavirus

New York’s governor insists he’d prefer to avoid an order to shelter in place.

“We went to 50% of the work force today. Obviously, the flip side is the more you close down businesses, the worse on the economy and on individual incomes,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Nearly 10 million northern Californians are experiencing just that, asked to only leave home for necessary activities like buying groceries.

“The people in San Francisco are definitely permitted to go out, to run, to exercise, to ride bikes," San Francisco Mayor London Breed said. "So many of our residents are complying with this order because they understand its impact on public health. This is not a vacation.”

But in Florida, some beaches are still packed with young people celebrating spring break, ignoring calls to practice social distancing.

As a result, some counties and municipalities are taking matters into their own hands, with Walton County and several Broward County municipalities among those closing beaches.

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