Texas ‘Pong Fest’ Exposed 300 Teens To COVID-19, Officials Say

Texas officials are urging hundreds of teens who took part in a weekend “pong fest” to self-isolate after several attendees tested positive for the coronavirus.

The event attracted a “large gathering of 300 teenagers” and took place on June 20 in Lakeway, Texas, about 20 miles northwest of Austin, according to a statement the Austin Public Health Department put out last week.

“Some attendees reported they were waiting for their COVID-19 test results at the time of the party and have now received positive results,” the statement read. “Since we are in a period of significant community spread, our entire community should act as if they have been exposed and take the proper precautions to further prevent spread.”

During a Facebook Live session on June 25, Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox said 105 residents of the city had tested positive for COVID-19 so far.

“Unfortunately, our case load is probably going to increase, and it’s because there was a very large party this past Saturday,” Cox said, as viewable in the clip below. “It was with a number of high school students, and there were students in attendance that were positive for COVID-19. … Therein lies an exposure.”

“We need anyone that went to that party to isolate for 14 days, and if you’ve been in contact with anyone else since that party, they need to isolate for 14 days,” Cox added, noting that the party was a “pong fest.”

Texas is one of several U.S. states experiencing a major uptick in COVID-19 cases.

On Thursday afternoon, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order requiring residents to wear masks in public spaces in counties with 20 or more COVID-19 cases. So far, more than 172,000 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Texas, according to Johns Hopkins University. At least 2,500 people in the state have died.

The mask measure comes a week after Abbott put his state’s reopening plan on a “temporary pause,” closing bars and capping restaurants’ indoor seating capacity at 50%. Previously, bars had been allowed to operate at 50% capacity, and restaurants at 75%. 

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