Pittsburgh area the latest to link COVID cases to Myrtle Beach

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Another area of the United States is blaming Myrtle Beach vacationers for spreading COVID-19 back home.

According to a press release from the Allegheny County Health Department, which is where the city of Pittsburgh, PA is located, residents have tested positive for the virus after returning from vacations to Myrtle Beach.

“New cases reported traveling out of state to at least 60 different locations,” Allegheny County, PA health officials said. “Beach towns along the coast of the Carolinas including Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head, cities in Florida such as Miami, Orlando, Clearwater and Tampa; and Raleigh, Youngstown, Houston and Nashville have come up most often during interviews with new cases.”

100 teens from DC-area test positive for COVID-19 after Myrtle Beach trip

Around 100 teenagers from the Washington D.C. area have tested positive for COVID-19 after a trip to Myrtle Beach, according to health officials in Virginia.

The Director of the Health Department in Loudoun County, Virginia, Dr. David Goodfriend, told our news partner WPDE their area has seen triple-digit cases after residents reported taking trips to South Carolina.

“We’re starting to see more and more positive test results come in, and as we followed up on those, similarly, they had shared they had gone down to Myrtle Beach, at least the Myrtle Beach area,” Goodfriend said.

Goodfriend said at least one group reported 40 people staying in one house together and they were having parties and going to parties with over 100 people.

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He reached out to the Myrtle Beach city manager to express his concerns about the situation, who reported receiving dozens of emails each day about coronavirus.

“We receive probably 75 to 100 emails on the coronavirus every day,” Myrtle Beach City Manager John Pedersen said. “Some of them say wear masks, some of them say don’t wear masks.”

Pederson said he thinks it is unlikely that all of the teens who tested positive for COVID-19 were staying within the Myrtle Beach city limits.

On Thursday, city officials are considering a mask mandate.

Mayor Brenda Bethune said she thinks it will pass unanimously. She also said many businesses back the mandate.

“I really don’t see how we can not do it at this point,” Bethune said. “It’s also for our visitors. Of course, it’s to keep our own residents, our employees safe, but we really want the people who come here to be safe. And we want them to go home and not have anything and to have a good story to tell so they’ll come back again.”

“It could very well be somebody said they were staying in Myrtle Beach, but they were staying other places along the Grand Strand,” Pederson said.

Other states have seen outbreaks connected to Myrtle Beach such as Ohio, where 20 cases in one county are connected to the popular beach destination.

It has lead some officials in other states to tell their residents to quarantine when they return from Myrtle Beach or avoid the area.

“If the shoe were on the other foot, I might be advising the same thing,” Pedersen said. “I do think one of the things they should also be saying is that when you come to Myrtle Beach, you’re not on a vacation from coronavirus.”

Myrtle Beach City Council is considering a possible mask ordinance on Thursday and if it is passed, the ordinance could go into effect Thursday.