Coronavirus: 300 Texas teens may have been exposed during ‘pongfest’

LAKEWAY, Texas — Up to 300 teens in a Texas city may have been exposed to the coronavirus after a traditional "pongfest" party was held last month, officials said.

"Pongfest" is a summer tradition enjoyed by many Lakeway high school juniors and seniors, but Mayor Sandy Cox is urging caution after she said several people in attendance at the June 20 party tested positive for COVID-19, KVUE reported.

"Unfortunately, our caseload is probably going to increase and it's because there was a very large party this past Saturday and it was a number of high school students, and some in attendance tested positive for COVID-19," Cox said in a Facebook video.

Join Mayor Cox live with the latest on COVID-19 in the Lake Travis area.

Posted by City of Lakeway Government on Thursday, June 25, 2020

According to Austin Public Health, 300 teenagers attended the party, and some of the attendees were awaiting testing results, KXAN reported. Health officials said some of the tests came back positive, the television station reported.

"Epidemiologists are asking that participation in gatherings be mentioned during their contact tracing investigations to help identify potential clusters," Austin Public Health officials said in a statement to KVUE. "The virus often hides in the healthy and is given to those who are at grave risk of being hospitalized or dying. While younger people have less risk for complications, they are not immune from severe illness and death from COVID-19."

In an email to CNN on Wednesday, Cox said it is not clear whether the party led to a spike of positive cases in the area. Cox said Lakeway has had 105 positive cases, and 50 are active, the network reported.

Cox said the city is working with Baylor Scott & White Health and will set up a testing site for people who attended the party.

"We need anyone who went to that party to isolate for 14 days," Cox said in the Facebook video. "And if you have been in contact with anyone else at that party, they need to isolate for 14 days. If you are symptomatic, go get tested."

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