20 Teens Test Positive for Coronavirus After House Party in New Jersey

At least 20 teenagers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus after attending a house party in New Jersey earlier this month.

The Middletown Township Department of Health and Human Services is investigating the cluster of cases, which have been linked back to a party held on July 11, NJ.com reported. The group of partygoers ranged in age from 15 to 19 years old.

When health officials first identified the cluster of new cases in Monmouth County, they said that "responsiveness" from parents and the community had "been less than satisfactory, with many refusing to answer our question," according to the outlet.

Middletown Health Department Director Rich DeBenedetto told CNN on Saturday that parents have become more responsive in the last few days, and are working with the department to ensure all teens linked to the party get tested and go into quarantine.

"We have received a large response from parents who weren't aware of the situation and thankful that they could address it with their kids and ensure they get tested/quarantine," he told the outlet.

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During a press conference last week, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy warned residents, especially young people, to avoid gathering indoors.

"Congregating, even if you're a young person and you're healthy — and you may be asymptomatic and you think you're invincible — you can't congregate closely indoors," Murphy said on Thursday, according to CNN.

He also urged anyone who may have attended the party to come forward and get tested.

"To be perfectly clear this is not a witch hunt to root out anyone who was drinking underage although we do not condone underage drinking, and remember folks, it is illegal. But this is not what this is about. This is a race against the clock to ensure that everyone who may have been exposed to coronavirus is identified before they infect anyone else," Murphy said.

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