Friends gather on a cold and windy day at the beach May 24, 2020 in Wildwood, New Jersey. Gov. Phil Murphy designated the state beaches open with restrictions during the Memorial Day weekend due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mark Makela/Getty Images
Pennsylvania’s Bucks County Department of Health said on Saturday that at least 12 new COVID-19 cases in the state can be tied to a New Jersey resident who attended “multiple house gatherings” on the Jersey Shore.
The New Jersey Department of Health told CNN that the house gatherings, most of which happened over Memorial Day weekend, featured college-aged attendees.
The 12 COVID-19 patients who were tied to the New Jersey resident are experiencing mild symptoms from the virus.
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Officials in Pennsylvania say at least 12 new COVID-19 cases in the state can be traced back to gatherings at beach houses on New Jersey’s Jersey Shore.
Pennsylvania’s Bucks County Department of Health said on Saturday that there were 33 new cases in the state, 11 of which were traced back to a resident in New Jersey “who attended multiple house gatherings at the shore during the past two weeks,” NJ.com reported. A 12th COVID-19 patient in Pennsylvania was previously tied to the New Jersey resident, Bucks County health officials said in a news release.
The New Jersey Department of Health told CNN that most of the attendees at house gatherings were college-aged, and many of the parties happened over Memorial Day weekend.
“This is exactly why we can’t let our guard down now, even if it feels ‘safe’ to be at the beach,” David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department, said in a statement to NJ.com. “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.”
Bucks County is not yet allowing gatherings of over 25 people in an attempt to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, though New Jersey’s beaches opened in time for Memorial Day weekend, with strict social distancing guidelines in place.
Damsker said he expects cases to continue to spread through patients’ family members.
Bucks County spokesman Larry King told CNN that the 12 individuals who tested positive are experiencing mild symptoms and are self-isolating at home.
New Jersey State epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan told CNN that her team is investigating the incident.
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