Teens test positive for covid-19 after sharing weekend rental unit in Bethany Beach

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The Department of Health said the teens also attended several gatherings at Rehoboth Beach, potentially exposing hundreds more.

Smyrna (DE): At least three teens who shared a rental unit in Bethany Beach with a dozen or more other teens tested positive for the coronavirus (covid-19) during senior week activities., according to a news release from the Department of Health.

The teens also attended several gatherings at Rehoboth Beach, potentially exposing hundreds more., the Department of Health said. It is unknown when the teens shared the rental unit or which rental unit the health department was referring to, but said “the rental unit was shared with other teens in a group setting.”

Now the Department of Health is urging parents to get their kids tested for the virus who was at the rental unit or had contact with the three teens. The health department has begun making contact with the positive cases and their contacts and is providing guidance on how to safely self-isolate or self-quarantine. 

The health department will not be providing additional information about these particular cases and are unaware of any other positive cases from senior week activities, but strongly recommends anyone who participated in senior week activities, especially in Dewey/Rehoboth beach, and who lived or stayed with a group, or attended a large gathering, to consider themselves at risk for the virus, self-monitor for symptoms and to consider getting tested. Information about testing events, including community testing sites and free-standing sites operated by the health care systems and hospitals, is listed on the testing section of the Delaware coronavirus website.

Delaware coronavirus website.

“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.  “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.”

“This incident underscores the importance of wearing face coverings and social distancing,” said DPH Medical Director Dr. Rick Hong. “We recognize that the risk for transmission is going to increase during reopening; this was incorporated into our overall reopening strategy.  However, for reopening to progress, we continue to ask the public to follow basic infection control and prevention measures.  It’s critically important for people to remember – the more interactions people have with each other, especially when not social distancing and wearing a face covering, the higher the risk of infection.”

Families whose children participated in senior week activities at the beach, and are planning graduation parties, should consider rescheduling them for 14 days after they left.  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.

DPH is also encouraging teens and young adults who may be living together during the summer months, particularly in the beach area where group living is a common practice, to consider getting tested at least once a month – or immediately if they become symptomatic. Those who work in industries with more frequent contact with members of the public (including the hospitality and restaurant industry) should also consider being tested for COVID-19 once a month.

Image may contain: outdoor, text that says 'Masks are required on the boardwalk. Remember to practice social distancing and wash or sanitize your hands. de.gov/coronavirus'If you are sick with any of the following symptoms, stay home: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, chills, shaking with chills, loss of smell or taste. Other symptoms such as headache or digestive symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or lack of appetite) have been identified as potential symptoms related to COVID-19 and may prompt further screening, action or investigation. If you are sick and need essential supplies, ask someone else to go to the grocery store or the pharmacy to get what you need.  

Delaware is considering patients fully recovered seven days after the resolution of their symptoms ​and 10 days after onset of symptoms. Three days after symptoms resolve, patients are no longer required to self-isolate at home; however, they must continue to practice strict social distancing for the remaining four days before returning to their normal daily routine.

Additional demographic data on COVID-19 cases and deaths, including race/ethnicity, more age-specific data and rates information by ZIP code, can be found on the Division of Public Health’s My Healthy Community data portal.

 Individuals who have complaints about individuals violating public gathering restrictions should contact state or local law enforcement. Concerns that a business may be violating operating restrictions should be directed to: COVID.DOJ@delaware.gov. Questions related to business re-openings or operations as businesses reopen should go to COVID19FAQ@delaware.gov.

 Individuals with questions about COVID-19 should call Delaware 2-1-1, or email info@delaware211.org. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Medically related questions regarding testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.  Questions regarding unemployment claims should be emailed to: UIClaims@delaware.gov.    

 In addition, the Division of Public Health asks any Delaware health care, long-term care, residential, or other high-risk facility with questions or concerns to email: DPH_PAC@delaware.gov or call the DPH Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 and press ext. 2.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.

According to data entered as of 6 p.m., Thursday, 36 new positive cases were reported to DPH on June 18.

In total, 433 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Individuals who have died from COVID-19 ranged in age from 21 to 104 years old. Of those who have died, 231 were females and 202 were males. A total of 196 individuals were from New Castle County, 84 were from Kent County, and 153 were from Sussex County.

The most recent deaths announced today ranged in age from 68 to 77. Both individuals were female. One was a New Castle County resident and one was a Sussex County resident. Both individuals had underlying health conditions. One individual was a resident of a long-term care facility.


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Delaware Newsline is a digital Delaware News Organization that provides local and national breaking news content to its Delaware and U.S. audience, by utilizing multiple platforms including web, social media, and video.

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