Beach bound teens face coronavirus threat

Every summer thousands of teens hit the road and head to Delaware’s beaches to celebrate senior week. But this year, public health officials are worried some teens may be leaving with more than memories.

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It’s because three teens tested positive for COVID-19 after celebrating in Dewey Beach, leading officials to issue a warning to parents, recommending that they get their child tested if they participated in senior week activities in Delaware and either stayed with a group or attended a large gathering. The three teens who tested positive did both, according to a Delaware Division of Public Health news release, which said the teens were among more than a dozen kids who stayed in a Dewey Beach rental unit and also attended several large gatherings in Rehoboth Beach too.

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"Teens and young adults are often asymptomatic spreaders,” explained Delaware Division of public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “So they may not have symptoms, they may not know that they have it, but now is the time when they’re having graduations, graduation parties, they’re spending time with grandparents and other vulnerable individuals, and I think the last thing anybody wants is to spread this to another loved one who is at higher risk.”

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Rattay said that regardless of the three teens testing positive, families should still feel safe going to the beach this summer. The key, she said, is everyone – regardless of age – must wear a mask and stay socially distant.