Going back to the beach isn’t as simple as it used to be.

In recent months, many cities, counties, and states across the country lifted their stay-at-home orders; risk mitigators which were meant to significantly reduce infectivity of COVID-19.

For the most part, people took these measures seriously, and the nation’s cumulative efforts were successful in flattening curves and minimizing hospitalizations.

Quarantine was a long and frustrating affair, however, and fatigue factor ultimately set in. Human beings are social animals. We like interacting with one another. And after a long five months of isolation, summer vacations beckoned.

While many individuals continue to err on the side of caution – social distancing and wearing masks in public – a concerning trend has linked beach parties and COVID-19 infectivity among young adults. Case rates have risen among those socializing in crowded, indoor restaurants and bars while on vacation.

In social situations like these, alcohol can lead to fewer inhibitions, guards are lowered, and infection seizes on opportunity, before these young people return home to their families. Similar behavior, and similar outcomes, have been occurring on the shores of Ocean City to any number of southern beaches.

Quality First Urgent Care, which has tested upwards of 200 individuals per day at its drive-in sites in Columbia and Savage Mill, strongly urges teens and young adults to take necessary precautions, to help mitigate risk, once again:

  • Wear masks or face coverings in public.
  • Social distance whenever possible, maintaining 6-feet between yourself and others.
  • Stay away from crowds; try to keep interactions contained.

By being vigilant and conscientious, we can all help to keep infections at bay.

Quality First is currently offering drive-through COVID-19 testing at the Savage Volunteer Fire Company on Corridor Road in Savage, Md., and at its Burtonsville Town Square facility. Most vehicles are in and out within 7 minutes, and results are being turned around in 1-3 days, on average.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Pre-registration is not required – but it makes things quicker. Text #covid19 to 37373.