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Expert says large gatherings among younger people add difficulty to contact tracing

A health expert we spoke to Monday says large gatherings younger people are attending make it harder to track the spread of the coronavirus. And teens we spoke to in Naples explained their positions.

“There is so many parties going on,” said teen Victoria Velikov in Naples. “I don’t think people really care about corona.”

Some older people we spoke to say they understand why younger people have been gathering in large groups.

“They’re getting fidgety, and I don’t blame them,” Janet Lombardo said. “I feel bad for them.”

“It makes sense, everyone stuck in their houses for so long,” said teen Kara Helm in Naples. “Everyone wants to see their friends.”

J. Glenn Morris, a professor of medicine (infectious diseases) at UF, says this is starting to create problems though.

“With numbers this large, we are starting to lose the ability to contract trace, which has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to control outbreaks,” Morris said.

House parties are difficult to track.

“We are starting to encounter a fair amount of pushback from younger folks when you call them up and say, ‘We want to know everyone who was at your party,’” Morris said.

And, while some younger people do follow the rules, others say it’s not something that can be completely controlled.

“Why do you guys choose not to go?” said teen Sammie Sweet in Naples. “I think it’s stupid. We know it’s just going to rise. The more it rises, the more we will get in trouble.

“I don’t want to get the virus at all or spread it,” said teen Anthony Blanco in Naples. “And I’m trying to be responsible about it.”

Although we are seeing a high number of cases in Florida, experts say this problem with parties is in many different states, not just the Sunshine State.

“It’s inevitable,” said teen Amelia Dock in Naples. “Teenagers are gonna do what they wanna do.”

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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