Overconfidence, impatience, carelessness, the illusion of invulnerability \u2014 something is causing more young people in Ridgefield to become infected with coronavirus, according to the town health department. Town officials are pleading with people \u2014 especially the young \u2014 to remain vigilant about social distancing, wearing masks, self-quarantining after exposure and being careful. \u201cYoung people can die from this virus. They need to realize it,\u201d First Selectman Rudy Marconi said, who fought his own intense battle with COVID-19 back in the spring. \u201cIt\u2019s serious. I can personally vouch for that.\u201d Town Health Director Ed Briggs raised the issue of more younger people testing positive for the disease in a news release from the town Office of Emergency Management on July 9. \u201cThe last 10 positive tests were reported for patients ranging in age from less than one year to 86 with the majority in their 20s, 30s and 40s,\u201d Briggs said. \u201cThis suggests that younger folks are getting out more and may be getting a little careless with precautions such as social distancing and mask wearing.\u201d \u201cThe important take-away is that we\u2019re seeing a younger positive test group,\u201d Marconi said. \u201cAnd according to Ed Briggs, after speaking with multiple area health departments, everyone, all municipalities are beginning to experience the same trend. ... What Ed found is the average age of those becoming infected is dropping, an indication younger people are relaxing relative to the protocols of face covering and social distancing. And we need to be very much aware of that and focus our effort in that area, of educating younger people about the consequences and what can happen if you were to catch an unfortunately difficult strain of this virus.\u201d Marconi outlined the age range of people testing positive that Briggs had brought to his attention. \u201cThe range was from 1-year-old to 80, there were four or five in that 19 to 44 range,\u201d he said. \u201cIf you were to average those, versus a couple of months ago, there\u2019s a definite decline in the average age.\u201d High-risk group It remains the case that older people are most at risk. \u201cIn Ridgefield, we\u2019ve had 42 deaths, 39 of which were associated with the assisted living and nursing home on Route 7. The other three were spread throughout the community. Most deaths were senior citizens,\u201d Marconi said. Figures on positive tests for COVID-19 disease in town \u2014 or, at least, among those Ridgefielders who have sought tests \u2014 show the rate of infection at about 6 to 7 percent. \u201cWe\u2019ve had about 218 to 225 positive tests out of approximately 3,200 tests being given. That number changes every day, as people are tested,\u201d Marconi said. \u201c...We\u2019re running about 6 percent if you took 3,200 tests and 218 were positive, but again, that\u2019s going to be skewed by the nursing home.\u201d Marconi said the situations in the Laurel Ridge nursing home and Ridgefield Crossings assisted living facility, both on Route 7, have improved. \u201cThey\u2019ve really tightened their testing protocol, the patients coming in are tested, proper PPE, policy changes,\u201d Marconi said. Looking at the people who attended the townwide testing events held on a few Saturdays at the Recreation Center \u2014 in effect, eliminating people from the long-term care facilities \u2014 the rate of positives goes down. \u201cWhat we have experienced in our own Ridgefield testing, we\u2019ve tested about 740 people, and out of that, I think we had six positives. So that\u2019s under 1 percent,\u201d Marconi said. Marconi also noted the total of positive tests \u2014 that 218 to 225 number \u2014 is cumulative. It includes everyone from Ridgefield who\u2019s been tested over the course of the pandemic, not how many people are currently positive. \u201cRudy Marconi is one of 220, but I have been fully recovered for two months now,\u201d he said. \u201cMy name doesn\u2019t come off that list. And that\u2019s where it\u2019s a little misleading. The most important part is the number of active cases in our community, and that number was hovering at about 12 as of a week ago.\u201d Marconi said there is another townwide testing session planned at the Recreation Center in August, but the final date has not been confirmed.