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Roanoke area coronavirus cases linked to Myrtle Beach nearly double overnight

More than 40 cases now confirmed

ROANOKE, Va. – 10 News is working for you to follow up on local coronavirus cases linked to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

It’s a story many of you have been talking about since 10 News first reported the cases Tuesday.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, as of Wednesday afternoon, there were 47 cases in the Roanoke-Alleghany Health District linked to the popular beach destination.

That’s up from 27 cases on Tuesday.

The 47 cases range from people who are three years old to 72 years old. All of those people recently came back from Myrtle Beach.

“Our recommendation is if somebody goes to Myrtle Beach, they should self-quarantine when they get back,” said Roanoke-Alleghany Health District Director Dr. Molly O’Dell.

As with all coronavirus cases, contact tracing is being done but O’Dell said that’s not always easy with cases like this.

“You say, ‘Well, yeah I was at a bar.' Well, we know you probably exposed, say, 30 people but you don’t know any of those names so we can’t do contact tracing,” O’Dell explained.

While these cases may seem avoidable, as going to the beach may not seem necessary, O’Dell recognized this is not an easy decision for some people.

“This isn’t the vacation owner’s fault,” said O’Dell. “People may have made reservations four months ago and can’t get their money back.”

In a statement to 10 News, the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce’s CEO said, in part, a web page and a community initiative have been created to try to help people stay healthy.