Tampa Bay area doctors warn of graduation party danger amid rise in COVID-19 cases among teens


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A warning is being issued from Bay Area doctors to teens attending graduation parties before they head off to college.

Wear a mask, and keep social distancing in mind.

The medical community is worried about a spike they’re seeing for one group, in particular, testing positive for COVID-19 – and that’s young people.

“There’s so much we still don’t know about the virus,” said Dr. Paul Nanda from Tampa General Hospital.

It’s considered a rite of passage for seniors graduating high school, attending parties with friends before everyone goes their separate ways for college or careers.

However, in a pandemic, a party packed with kids is the last thing doctors want to see and the one thing they fear the most, especially with more people in their late teens and early twenties becoming infected.

“Unfortunately, young people, they hear, ‘Oh, I’m young. I’ll be okay.’ We’re seeing a lot of young folks going to graduation parties, maybe not taking the advice as seriously as they should.” Dr. Nanda tells 8 On Your Side.

Dr. Paul Nanda is in charge of Tampa General Hospital’s Urgent Care Centers throughout the area. He says they’re seeing a lot of younger people going to parties without masks or social distancing in mind.

Dr. Nanda calls it “frustrating.”

“When you’re younger, you’re more cavalier, think you’re invincible,” he said.

Dr. Nanda hopes parents will take a few moments to remind their graduating seniors to mask up while at a party and keep social distancing in mind. It’s the only way, he says, young people will stay safe.


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