On July 11, more than 20 teens aged 15 to 19 years old tested positive for the coronavirus after attending a house party in Middletown. Earlier this week, town health officials said they attempted to contact the teens and their parents for contact tracing, but their response was “less than satisfactory, with many refusing to answer our questions. It is imperative that everyone cooperate in this potentially serious matter as we continue to fight this virus.”
On July 23, Gov. Phil Murphy said: “You can’t congregate closely indoors…even if you’re a young person and you’re healthy…and you think you’re invincible…(Y)ou may be asymptomatic.”
The governor added, “The contact tracing has hit somewhat of a brick wall. We don’t condone illegal behavior, so I’m not wild about 15-year-olds drinking alcohol. On the one hand, please don’t break the law. Period. But on the other hand, this isn’t a witch hunt — this is a public health pursuit that the contact tracing corps is after.”
On July 25, Middletown Health Department director Rich DeBenedetto says parents parents have since been more responsive: “We have received a large response from parents who weren’t aware of the situation, and are thankful that they could address it with their kids and ensure they get tested and/or quarantined.”
More than 20 lifeguards from Long Beach Island (LBI) have tested positive for the coronavirus after being together at recent events.
On July 24, Philadelphia public radio station WHYY reported that LBI Health Department director Daniel Krupinski tole them that the department (which operates independently of the Ocean County Health Department) had received reports of COVID-19 activity among approximately two dozen lifeguards after attending a pair of social gatherings in unspecified indoor areas on July 12 and 14.
Anyone who thinks they (or their their children) have attended or participated in a group activity that may have included someone potentially exposed should self-quarantine for 14 days to monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.