After a weekend that saw COVID hospitalizations spike, the state Monday turned its attention to vaccinating more young people, a group that has been the most reluctant to roll up their sleeves. Gov. Ned Lamont said convincing younger residents to get vaccinated was a better strategy at this point than to order residents to wear masks or limit social gatherings. Lamont made the push as the weekend COVID statistics painted an increasingly worrisome picture. The state's seven-day positivity rate average is now 2.17%, now the highest since the end of April and the first time it's been over 2% since May 5. Hospitalizations jumped from 76 to 108, the highest since May 28. They have more than doubled in two weeks. "I don't know where it's going to go," Lamont said of the Delta variant that has become the dominant strain in the state and what experts believe is fueling the increased cases. "I do know that if people get vaccinated that is the best protection we've got." Lamont recruited sports coaches, such as Hillhouse High's football coach Reggie Lytle, to help convince young people to get inoculated. They were exected to join him Monday on the New Haven Green where Griffin Hospital has set up a daily vaccine clinic from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. until Aug. 30. Their pitch was about teamwork, which they hope will resonate with young people, particularly athletes, at a time when many are making the argument that getting vaccinated is a personal choice, and that vaccine mandates infringe on personal liberties. Singling out a man in a Yankees t-shirt, Lamont referenced the six Yankees players who recently tested positive for COVID and must miss at least 10 games. Pointing to another man in a Red Sox shirt, Lamont quipped that he, too, knew the impact of not having those players on the field. "It is about the team. It's not just about you. It's not just that you're not on the field. It could mean your entire team has to quarantine and what that means for the season and that's an analogy for state of Connecticut," Lamont said. "To not get it would be very selfish on any individual part not to get the shot," said Lytle, who is also president of New Haven Pop Warner Youth Football. Young people - "the invincibles," as Lamont calls them - don't feel an urgency to get immunized given they are at far less risk for getting severely sick, he said but "they're also just as likely to be infectious and infect their parents or their grandparents or those around them." Connecticut remains one of the top states in the country for the percent of its population immunized, but demand has waned significantly. Those 55 and older are far more likely to be vaccinated than younger residents. State data shows that 80% of 55- to 64-year-olds in Connecticut are fully vaccinated compared to about 57% of 25- to 34-year-olds and 54% of 16-to 24-year-olds. New Haven Public Health Director Maritza Bond said public health officials are noticing several trends surrounding vaccine hesitancy among young people. For those younger than 18, some parents want to wait until the U.S. Food & Drug Administration gives full approval to the vaccines. Currently, the FDA has authorized them for emergency use. Some young people are worried that the potential side effects from the vaccines, which are short-lived, could cause them to call out of work and they'll miss a day or two of pay. Knocking on doors in the Fair Haven neighborhood, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz said she heard from several young Latinx men who were worried because they'd seen videos of people having allergic reactions to the vaccines, which she emphasized was a rarity and the reason individuals must be monitored for at least 15 minutes after getting a shot. Misinformation also remains a major barrier to getting people of all ages immunized, Bond said. For younger generations, that misinformation is often coming from celebrities, who are against getting vaccinated, or social media platforms like Tik-Tok, said Tyler Jenkins, a 21-year-old Wesleyan student and member of the College Corps. Jenkins said he is hoping he'll find success convincing people his age to get vaccinated by equating getting inoculated with a return to socialization and pre-pandemic life. Reporter Nick Rondinone contributed to this story.