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Partygoers should contact health deptartment

Among the possible reasons for the significant increase in the number of those seeking COVID-19 testing in our region is the revelation that attendants at a three-day get-together near Belpre — approximately 45 people — were exposed to someone who later tested positive for the virus. Of course, those 45 people (ranging in age from 18-30) did not immediately find out they had been exposed, and therefore went about their daily lives. That means the number of those whose exposure can be traced to the party is much higher.

Some attendees and others later exposed appear to have done exactly the right thing. They got tested quickly, stayed quarantined and remained in touch with the health department.

Others, however, are displaying irresponsible and reckless behavior in continuing to socialize normally and avoiding health department attempts to trace their contacts and contain the spread.

“They’re not being really forthcoming about letting us know who was there, or when, possibly because they’re worried about getting in trouble. But we don’t care what they were doing here, we just want to have consistent contact to monitor and get individuals tested and isolated,” said Carrie Brainard, public information officer for the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department.

Imagine being more worried about getting in trouble for a poor weekend choice than about preventing the spread of a deadly disease in your own community.

Folks, if you know someone who was at the party, or later exposed to someone who attended, encourage them to get in touch with the Mid-Ohio Valley, Marietta-Belpre or Washington County health departments — and to get tested, then isolate. It’s not too late to do the right thing.

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