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The original item was published from 4/28/2020 12:13:03 PM to 5/1/2020 10:45:07 AM.

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Posted on: April 28, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Teens, Stay Physically Apart from Others to Reduce COVID-19 Risk

Photo of teens working on chalk art in driveway

Teens, do you know you can transmit COVID-19 to others even without showing symptoms?

Although the virus generally causes mild symptoms in youths, people of all ages can spread it and bring it home to others who are at higher risk. The key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 is to practice social distancing ― staying physically apart from anyone who is not in your household.

Stay at home orders are in place in Orange County and North Carolina to slow the spread of the virus and to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. This will help ensure patients can get the care they need when they need it.

Tips from teens

Need some tips to fight boredom and to stay social while physically apart? Lydia Procopio, a rising sophomore at Eno River Academy High School in Hillsborough, suggests starting with initiating conversations to check on others.

“It really helps everyone to hear from someone during the quarantine and know that someone is still there for them even though they’re not physically there,” she said.

She’s organized chat sessions and online games with friends and done a duet cover of a song virtually with a friend.

“Even though our motivation can be scarce and those feelings of happiness are hard to find, when we do have them we need to hold onto them tight,” Procopio said. “And even though it’s kind of hard to do, forcing ourselves to do things is also a great way to fight boredom. Most importantly, we can’t give up on ourselves or give up on the hope that this thing will end soon.”

See the attached Tips from Teens for additional ideas from teens in the area.

What you should know

The stay at home orders apply to teens too. Everyone must stay home except to:

  • Visit essential businesses.
  • Exercise outdoors.
  • Help a family member.

You might be asked to pick up groceries, or you might want to walk on a trail or through a park for your own physical and mental needs. If in public for essential needs, remember to:

  • Avoid gatherings of any size. Save visits with friends for when the pandemic is over.
  • Stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone not in your household. If you happen upon a friend, keep your distance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises at least 6 feet.
  • Wear a cloth face covering when 6 feet of distance is hard to achieve, such as in grocery stores and on some trails. The CDC recommends cloth face coverings for most people older than 2.
  • Participate safely in recreational activities. Sharing equipment, like a basketball or flying disc, can transmit the virus. Viruses can live on objects for days, and disease transmission can occur before symptoms show.

More on masks

Cloth face coverings prevent the spread of a virus from the wearer to others. Everyone is encouraged to wear masks because the virus can be carried and shed by people who show no symptoms. Cloth face coverings should be used in addition to:

  • Maintaining 6 feet of distance from others.
  • Frequently and thoroughly washing hands.
  • Taking other measures to prevent virus spread. See the CDC’s How to Protect Yourself & Others page.

Cloth face coverings can be made from household items, such as scarves and t-shirts, and can be creative. You can use the cloth as a canvas to express your personality. See sew and no-sew instructions from the CDC. 

Reliable Information

The Orange County Health Department is now providing a weekly summary of cases on Fridays. The state updates its COVID-19 case count dashboard daily at 11 a.m.

For the latest information and guidance relating to Orange County’s COVID-19 response:

  • Visit
  • Receive daily text updates on the crisis by texting 888-777 with OCNCHEALTH for English speakers and OCNCSALUD for Spanish speakers.
  • Sign up for a twice weekly e-newsletter about the COVID-19 response via the county website.
  • Follow the Orange County Health Department on Facebook and Twitter.

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