Delaware teens who recently took part in senior week activities at the state’s beaches may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus and should get tested, health officials said when announcing “several positive cases” among participants.

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) over the weekend announced that at least three of the more than a dozen teens who rented a house in Dewey Beach for senior week — a longstanding tradition in which graduating high school seniors in Delaware and Maryland celebrate at the beaches in those states, usually unchaperoned — have tested positive for the novel disease.

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Additionally, “While there, the teens attended several crowded gatherings in Rehoboth, potentially exposing as many as a hundred or more to the virus,” officials added, noting they have since begun contact tracing efforts to identify anyone who was possibly exposed and may need to self-isolate or self-quarantine.

"It is important for teens participating in senior week activities to consider themselves at-risk, and get tested for, COVID-19. The risk of COVID-19 spread among other young people, of different households, living in group settings without social distancing or wearing face coverings is real, and we will have no way of tracing all of the individuals they may have exposed because they likely don't know everyone's names," said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay in a statement. "Just because we are reopening, does not mean the virus is gone. It does not mean the risk is gone. It does not mean things are back to normal."

"It is important for teens participating in senior week activities to consider themselves at-risk, and get tested for, COVID-19. The risk of COVID-19 spread among other young people, of different households, living in group settings without social distancing or wearing face coverings is real, and we will have no way of tracing all of the individuals they may have exposed because they likely don't know everyone's names," said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay in a statement.

"It is important for teens participating in senior week activities to consider themselves at-risk, and get tested for, COVID-19. The risk of COVID-19 spread among other young people, of different households, living in group settings without social distancing or wearing face coverings is real, and we will have no way of tracing all of the individuals they may have exposed because they likely don’t know everyone’s names," said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay in a statement. (iStock)

Moving forward, anyone whose child participated in senior week activities at the beach should consider rescheduling graduation parties or any other activities that involve large groups of people for at least 14 days, or what is thought to be the incubation period of the virus, officials said.

“If they hold them, they should consider their children at-risk for the virus and limit the teens' exposure to vulnerable family and friends such as grandparents or family members with chronic health conditions,” officials warned, adding that any teens or young adults who live together during the summer months, “particularly in the beach area where group living is a common practice,” should consider getting tested at least once a month or “immediately if they become symptomatic.”

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No other details were provided, and health officials did not specify the time of the teenagers’ stay in Dewey.

To date, Delaware officials have reported more than 10,000 cases of COVID-19, according to state estimates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Source Link:
https://www.foxnews.com/health/coronavirus-infects-delaware-teens-who-participated-in-senior-week-activities-other-urged-to-get-tested

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