Ohio ‘spring break’ trip to Myrtle Beach ends with young people returning with COVID-19

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BELLAIRE, OHIO (WTRF) – “It’s a rite of passage, but this year the kids came home with more than sand in their shorts – they got COVID 19,” said Bellaire Schools Superintendent Darren Jenkins.

According to the Belmont County, Ohio, Health Department, 91 people went to Myrtle Beach and 45 of them are Belmont County residents. Of the 45, 14 have tested positive for COVID-19 so far.

“Our COVID 19 numbers were slowing down, and now this,” said Robert Sproulm, deputy health commissioner with Belmont County. “This is not what we wanted.”

The Bellaire Schools superintendent said the numbers from the district are unclear, and it was a diverse group. “There were graduating seniors from our district and Shadyside and other places,” said Jenkins. “There were underclassmen, and there were those who had graduated several years ago.”

So, Bellaire has suspended all extracurricular activities for now and has closed the buildings to everyone. Jenkins says the schools will be deep cleaned and sanitized, and activities will only be resumed when everyone is out of quarantine.

Last week, five counties in West Virginia announced they are investigating cases among residents who have traveled to Myrtle Beach. Travel warnings were issued for the Grand Strand area.

These counties in West Virginia have confirmed cases where contract tracing indicates out-of-state contact was in Myrtle Beach: Taylor County, Kanawha County, Preston County (more results are pending), Putman County, and Cabell County.

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