Around 100 DC-area teens test positive for COVID-19 after Myrtle Beach trip, health official says

Protecting Yourself from Coronavirus (May 2020)

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – Around 100 teenagers from the Washington D.C. area have tested positive for COVID-19 following a trip to Myrtle Beach, a health official said.

According to David Goodfriend, health director for Loudon County, Va., he recently reached out to Myrtle Beach City Manager John Pedersen with concerns over the city letting 40 or more individuals share a house and hold parties that had over 100 people in attendance.

“Affected cases reported up to 50 people staying in single homes and parties involving hundreds of individuals,” Goodfriend’s email read. “Please establish and/or enforce social distancing requirements to help prevent in the future such large numbers of people from getting sick from their visit to Myrtle Beach, and potentially bringing their infection home to people at high risk of dying from COVID-19.”

Goodfriend said he is still waiting on a response from the city. He added the area he oversees has seen triple-digit cases after a recent trip to the Palmetto State.

Myrtle Beach City Manager John Pedersen said the city probably receives around 75 emails a day “advising us to either adopt a facemask requirement or to not a facemask requirement.”

“Most, including Dr. Goodriends’s are an expression of opinion and do not pose a question to be addressed,” Pedersen said in an email sent to WMBF News. “I do not respond to these, but take their opinion under advisement.”

Pedersen noted that Myrtle Beach does not have many vacation homes and he doubts the 50 people Goodfriend alluded to were staying within the city limits.

The Virginia cases come after health officials in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky said they have clusters of cases linked back to travel in Myrtle Beach.

Last week, a health advisory from the Kentucky Department for Public Health recommended that residents who’ve recently traveled to Myrtle Beach self-quarantine.

The Myrtle Beach City Council has called an emergency meeting for Thursday to discuss a proposed emergency order mandating face masks in certain businesses.

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