Officials are investigating a COVID outbreak linked to recent teen night events in a Jersey Shore community.
The events took place at the bars The Marlin & Triton and Bird & Betty’s in Long Beach Island’s Beach Haven borough, according to a law enforcement source and Beach Haven councilmember.
On July 19, the Long Beach Island Health Department (LBIHD) first received a report of a positive COVID-19 case who attended teen nights on Sunday, July 11, and Tuesday, July 13.
On July 26, the LBIHD was notified of a second positive COVID case who attended a teen night on Sunday, July 18.
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On August 2, the LBIHD was notified of two positive COVID cases who attended teen nights on Sunday, July 15, and one positive COVID case who attended teen night on July, 27.
On Thursday, the LBIHD reported an additional ten COVID cases who attended teen nights on July 25 and July 27.
“To date, the total reported Covid-19 cases associated with this outbreak stands at 20 individuals,” an LBIHD spokesperson wrote.
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The LBIHD is urging anyone who attended teen nights in Beach Haven within the past 14 days, especially if they experienced any COVID symptoms, to seek testing three to five days after their exposure, regardless of their immunization status.
“We would advise both parents and youth that events that bring individuals together in large numbers, indoors and social atmospheres, pose significant risk of Covid-19 transmission,” the spokesperson wrote. “Unlike more structured and regulated organizations that host youth, teen nights often do not require health screening, immunization status, negative tests or have any social distance and masking.”
The outbreak comes as new cases, particularly involving the contagious delta variant, are climbing in New Jersey and elsewhere in the country.
Despite being fully vaccinated, someone can still become infected with the coronavirus, but the disease's effects are severely blunted. Vaccinated individuals who acquire a so-called "breakthrough infection" are very unlikely to require hospitalization or die. That's why public health officials worldwide stress the importance of vaccination. (If you still need to be vaccinated, here's a tool to find the closest vaccination provider to your home.)