LONG BEACH ISLAND, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – An active outbreak of COVID-19 cases down the shore is being investigated.
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reports, the cases are being linked to teen night clubs.READ MORE: MTA To Start Issuing $50 Fines To Riders Not Wearing Masks
Strobe lights, a DH, and dancing: Video from Ketch Teen Night at the Marlin in Beach Haven, where those under 21 can meet up with friends in a nightclub-like setting.
Bird and Betty’s is another bar/restaurant also hosts a similar party for teens.
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Long Beach Island’s Health Department is now warning that 20 teens positive for COVID. The common demoninator: Attendance at Teen Nights. LBI’s health officer says the transient nature of the vacation community poses its own challenges.
“It can be hard to really understand the sheer numbers, due to underreporting or mild symptoms that may not get captured,” said Daniel J. Krupinski. “The outbreaks could be larger than we are reporting.”
Officials from Beach Haven told Baker they were not available to go on camera, but they had reached out to the businesses asking them to consider cancelling Teen Nights for the rest of the summer.
The manager at Bird and Betty’s told Baker they are still planning to hold Teen Night August 8. No one got back to Baker from the Marlin.
Visitors Baker spoke with say they come to LBI to relax with family and this is disappointing to hear.
“Yeah, it’s concerning,” said Rahway resident Jeff Netting. “Hopefully people are smart about it and watch their kids.”READ MORE: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle Pay Visit To New York City
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“Nobody wants to wear masks forever, but if people don’t want to get vaccinated, we are not moving forward,” said Bergen County resident Louise Mellusi.
“It all comes down to personal responsibility,” said Rahway resident Denise Perez.
Officials are advising others who may have attended these parties to get tested.
Dr. Perry Halkitis, with Rutgers School of Public Health, says the Delta and Delta Plus variants are not only more infectious, but more likely to infect adolescents and children.
“It’s the lack of vaccination that we are seeing in young adults and adolescents,” Halkitis said.
“What does this say about school come September?” Baker asked.
“Very worried about school,” Halkitis said. “We have to protect our children. We have to protect their health. So we must have mask mandates in schools.
Halkitis says the only way to curb the spike in cases before then is to mask up, avoid large indoor activities, and get vaccinated.
Less than 50% of those 12-16 have had at least one dose in New Jersey.MORE NEWS: Public Meetings Begin On Controversial Congestion Pricing Plan
CBS2’s Meg Baker contributed to this report.