Police investigating teenagers coughing on produce at grocery store
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A Virginia police department is investigating reports that teenagers filmed themselves coughing on produce at a local grocery store and uploaded videos on social media.

The Purcellville Police Department said in Thursday Facebook post that the incident allegedly occurred the previous day at an undisclosed store, which immediately removed the items in question.

Officials asked for parents to monitor teenagers’ activities and social media accounts.

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“We have learned that this appears to be a disturbing trend on social media across the country, and we ask for help from parents to discourage this behavior immediately,” Purcellville police wrote. “Please talk with your children and explain to them why such behavior is wrong, especially given the current situation regarding the spread of Coronavirus.”

Last year, there was a social media trend of young people licking tubs of ice cream and putting them back on the self.

Copycat incidents emerged after a young woman was seen in a video viewed more than 13 million times licking a Blue Bell Tin Roof ice cream tub at a Walmart store in Lufkin, Texas.

She was identified, and the case was turned over to the juvenile justice system. Authorities previously said the girl could face a second-degree felony charge of tampering with a consumer product, potentially facing a two- to 20-year prison sentence with fines of up to $10,000.

Purcellville Deputy Police Chief Dave Dailey told The Hill that police have reached out to the Commonwealth’s Attorney's Office regarding possible charges but said both agencies are trying to do more research.

“This is about education more than it is prosecution,” Dailey said.

Virginia schools have closed during the coronavirus outbreak, so school-age children might not have as much supervision at the moment, he added.

There are currently 94 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 in Virginia, according to the state’s department of health.

In Loudoun County, where Purcellville is located, there are five positive cases.