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46 People Got COVID Because This Place Was Open, Says CDC

“The evaluation found 46 COVID-19 cases linked to this event of those 26 were patrons.”
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

CDC Chief Rochelle Walensky said 46 people got COVID as the result of activity in a bar, using the case as an illustration of why Americans should continue to follow public health measures.

Trends, overall, are going in the wrong direction, said Walensky, who laid out some "concerning data trends." It was just the starting off point for a horror story about the bar. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.

Dr. Walensky Said 46 People Got COVID Due to The Bar

"I want to briefly describe now a report in today's [Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report] that describes what can happen when we do not follow proper mitigation strategies," says Dr. Walensky. "When everyone is not fully vaccinated, the Illinois Department of Public Health and staff from a local public health department evaluated a COVID-19 outbreak associated with a bar and a rural area of Illinois. The bar accommodates about a hundred people and held an opening event indoors in February."

"While table spacing and signs encourage physical distancing and masking, people who attended the event reported the mask use was inconsistent, and that six feet of distance was not maintained. The evaluation found 46 COVID-19 cases linked to this event of those 26 were patrons. Three were bar staff. Seventeen secondary cases occurred among contacts of people who attended the opening and got COVID-19. Twelve were household contacts, three were long-term care, facility contacts, and two were school related contacts. Transmission is so associated with this opening event also resulted in eight households with infections, a school closure affecting 650 children and the hospitalization of a long-term care facility resident."

"As we work to get more people vaccinated," said Walensky, "and as community businesses begin to reopen, these findings underscore the vast impact of a single event affecting communities, schools, families, and fragile elderly, and it emphasizes the impressive transmissibility of this virus and the continued need for layered prevention strategies, including reducing the number of people in doors, improving building ventilation and noodles, utilizing outdoor spaces."

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The CDC Chief Said We're Entering Our Fourth Week of Increased Cases

"The seven day average of new cases is about 64,000 cases per day. This is approximately up 7% compared to the prior seven day period," she said. "Hospital admissions have also increased—the most recent seven day trend average is about 4,970 admissions per day, up about 3% from the previous seven-day period. Deaths have decreased to an average of approximately 800 per day. Importantly, we are now entering our fourth week of increased trends in cases." 

"While we are watching these increasing case counts with concern, the good news is that millions of Americans are stepping up every day to get vaccinated," she said. "CDC reported that over 4 million doses of vaccine had been administered in 24 hours to date more than 106 million people have received at least one dose and more than 61.4 million or 18.5% are fully vaccinated."

So follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek
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