Man went to Jersey Shore, gave a dozen-plus people coronavirus
A dozen new positive cases of the novel coronavirus in Bucks County, Pennsylvania have been traced back to a New Jersey resident who spread it while attending multiple indoor house gatherings at the Jersey Shore, according to the county health department.
The majority of the cases were among the 33 new cases reported by the county on Sunday. The county's health health department said one was also listed among 31 new positive cases reported on Saturday. The department also expects additional infections among family members of the new cases.
The department did not reveal exact locations or dates for the contact, except to say they happened during the past two weeks, which could include the Memorial Day holiday weekend. It didn't say how large the gatherings were or whether they complied with state restrictions.
The New Jersey Department of Health on Monday afternoon said they are also investigating the exposure which it said took place among college age students at a house in Cape May County.
"We are gathering information to understand who was initial source of exposure that caused the outbreak," New Jersey State Epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan said.
Bucks County's Health Department was less concerned about additional cases as the end of the incubation period has been reached.
Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department, offered advice that could apply in either state.
"One unlucky exposure can lead to a large cascade of cases down the line. We want everyone to enjoy the warmer weather and have fun, but let’s keep in mind that COVID is still circulating in the community at baseline levels," Damsker said.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf had warned residents from going to the shore during that time.
“I wouldn’t go to the beach,” Wolf said at a video news conference on May 18 in response to a question about whether he was concerned that beach-going would create a rise in coronavirus cases in the Philadelphia region.
“There are people there who aren’t wearing masks and you’re putting yourself at risk. I wouldn’t do that, I haven’t done that, and I’m not sure why the governors of Maryland and New Jersey have opened their beaches, but they have," Wolf said.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and local officials have repeatedly encouraged people to wear face coverings while at the beach, although they are not required.
Bucks County and the counties around Philadelphia moved into the "yellow" phase of their economic recovery from COVID-19 pandemic on Friday, allowing more businesses to open. All retailers are now allowed to open and restaurants may offer outdoor dining. Hair salons and barbershops and gyms may not open until a region of the state enters its "green" phase.
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