Millennials are using negative COVID tests as a license to party: Health officials slam young people who think the results give them an excuse to socialize and warns them against a ‘false sense of security’
- LA public health officials say young people are getting COVID tests as a way to get around the threat of a virus outbreak at social gatherings
- Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer warned against the troubling trend, which she said provided a ‘false sense of security’
- ‘I do want people to understand that testing on Thursday so you can party on Saturday: That doesn’t work,’ Ferrer said on Monday
- She revealed adults aged between 18 to 29 now make up the majority of new cases in LA County
Young people are attempting to get around the threat of the coronavirus at social gatherings by using their negative COVID tests as a license to flout restrictions, according to health officials.
As the US braces for a second wave of virus cases ahead of the holiday season, authorities say some people are refusing to let the pandemic get in the way of their social plans by finding ways to host events safely.
But some of those methods are misguided and alarming, according to Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer, who spoke out against the troubling trend among young adults.
LA health officials say young people are using negative COVID tests as an excuse to flout health measures at social gatherings
Authorities have been warning against large social events during the holiday season as coronavirus cases spike across the country
Ferrer on Monday said she received reports of young people who have been getting tested to use their negative results as permission to host or take part in large gatherings.
Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said the trend provides a ‘false sense of security’
Ferrer cautioned against the practice which she said creates a ‘false narrative since tests can produce misleading results depending on a variety of factors including the timing.
‘Your test result that you got Saturday morning was from Thursday when you got tested, and it said, “On Thursday, you were negative,”‘ Ferrer told the LA Times Monday.
‘It says nothing about whether you’re still negative on Saturday.’
Ferrer explained that a person can who has been infected could still produce negative results if they are tested before the virus has reproduced enough to be detected.
It’s also possible for someone to contract the virus after undergoing a test, which is also more likely to occur if people do not quarantine while awaiting their results.
‘I do want people to understand that testing on Thursday so you can party on Saturday: That doesn’t work. It’s not a good idea,’ Ferrer added.
‘It’s not effective and you really are in some ways wasting a valuable resource.’
Ferrer says the practice is not only misguided, it’s also a ‘waste of a valuable resource’
It comes as California reached the grim milestone of 1 million COVID-19 cases since March amid a recent spike across the state.
Ferrer said adults aged between 18 to 29 now make up the majority of new cases in Los Angeles County, the state’s most populous county.
As of Monday, there were more than 338,000 cases in LA after health officials recorded its highest single-day total since July on Saturday.
Elsewhere in the US, health officials have been warning residents against hosting large gatherings for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
In New York, which was once the epicenter of the virus, last week imposed tighter restrictions ahead of the holidays, limiting gatherings at private residences to just 10 people.
In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy followed suit, announcing a ‘retightening’ of restrictions that were rolled back during the summer.