The Delaware Division of Public Health is encouraging parents of teenagers to have them tested for the coronavirus if they participated in senior-week activities that involved living with a group or attending large gatherings.

The recommendation was made after the Department of Public Health learned about several positive cases among teens living in a rental unit in Dewey Beach.

At least three of more than a dozen teenagers who were living in a rental unit there tested positive for the virus. They had attended several crowded gatherings in Rehoboth Beach and could have exposed 100 or more others to the virus.

The health department this week began contacting those who tested positive and those they were in contact with, and is providing them with guidance on how to safely self-isolate or self-quarantine.

Officials said they were not aware of additional cases resulting from senior week but recommended anyone who participated in activities be tested, especially those who were in Dewey Beach and Rehoboth Beach, as well as anyone who lived or stayed with a group or attended a large gathering.

Those individuals should consider themselves at risk for the virus, self-monitor for symptoms and to consider getting tested, they said.

For information about testing availability, see https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing/.

Families whose children participated in senior-week activities at the beach, and are planning graduation parties, should consider rescheduling them for 14 days after they leave the beach, officials said. They should consider their children at-risk for the virus and limit the teenagers’ exposure to vulnerable family and friends, such as grandparents or family members with chronic health conditions.

Young adults who may be living together during the summer months — particularly in the beach area, where group living is a common practice — should think about getting tested at least monthly and immediately if they develop symptoms.

Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, chills, shaking with chills, loss of smell or taste, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and lack of appetite.

For questions about the virus, call 211 or e-mail info@delaware211.org.

Staff Reporter

Veteran news reporter Susan Canfora has written for many newspapers and held positions ranging from managing editor to her favorite, news reporter. She joined the Coastal Point in June 2019. She teaches college writing, tutors and professionally edits.