100 Virginia teens test positive for COVID-19 after trip to Myrtle Beach, health director says

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – About 100 teens from a Virginia county near Washington D.C. have tested positive for the coronavirus after traveling to Myrtle Beach, according to a health official there.

This comes a week after other states have issued a travel warning for Myrtle Beach and some states in the northeast have designated the area as a hotspot due to cases they believe were contracted here.

The health director of Loudoun County, Va., Dr. David Goodfriend, said the teens were on a recent trip to Myrtle Beach and many shared the same house where they held big parties. Goodfriend said he shared his concerns about the housing situation with Myrtle Beach City Manager John Pedersen but has not yet received a response.

The Virginia county is not issuing a formal travel advisory to the Myrtle Beach area, but Goodfriend said, “If asked, we are sharing the daily increase in numbers Myrtle Beach is reporting and emphasizing the importance of social distancing, face-covering and other personal protective measures.” 

Goodfriend says although the county cannot confirm it for sure, their understanding is 40 or more people shared a house at the beach and held parties of more than 100 people there. 

As Horry County has been seeing single-day records of coronavirus cases, at least six states are warning their residents about visiting Myrtle Beach. Belmont County, Ohio, health officials say 20 people were infected on a high school trip to Myrtle Beach. And West Virginia now has 72 cases of COVID-19 tied to people traveling to Myrtle Beach, according to the governor.

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut issued a joint travel advisory Wednesday, requiring anyone coming from nine states, including South Carolina, to quarantine for 14 days.

North Myrtle Beach is holding an emergency meeting on Tuesday to vote on a mask requirement. Myrtle Beach City Council will discuss on Thursday a draft of an executive order to require masks inside businesses. Horry County is not considering a mask mandate. And Gov. McMaster said he will not mandate one because it is not enforceable.

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