Wedding Reception Sparks 2 Coronavirus Outbreaks

300-person event linked to at least 17 cases so far
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2020 1:53 AM CST
Wedding Reception Sparks 2 Coronavirus Outbreaks
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks during a news conference, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Yet again, a wedding reception held in defiance of coronavirus guidelines has fueled an outbreak—in this case, two outbreaks. The Washington state nuptials were held in Ritzville on Nov. 7, when receptions were allowed with a limit of 30 attendees. This one had more than 300, the Washington Post reports. At least 17 guests tested positive after the wedding, fueling the aforementioned outbreaks, and new cases are "being added daily" to the tally, officials say. The county is urging everyone who attended the event to quarantine through Saturday and get tested for COVID-19, reports the Wenatchee World, which adds that officials are having trouble tracking all the guests down.

At least three other weddings have turned into superspreader events: a Maine wedding in early August has now been linked to at least 177 cases and seven deaths (30 of the 55 guests ultimately tested positive); a Long Island wedding last month is linked to dozens of cases; and an Ohio wedding held Oct. 31 is one of the latest linked to an outbreak. Almost half of the 83 guests at that wedding tested positive, NBC News reports. “Wedding organizers are strongly encouraged to keep a log of attendees at each service and to retain that log for at least two weeks," Washington officials say. "If an outbreak occurs, this information may be critical to help save lives." (More coronavirus stories.)

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