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Coronavirus case cluster tied to Pasadena party and ‘selfish behavior,’ officials say

Pasadena
The city of Pasadena is warning against Mother’s Day gatherings after its public health department recently traced a cluster of at least five coronavirus cases to a birthday party. Pasadena City Hall is pictured.
(Keith Johnson/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The city of Pasadena is warning against Mother’s Day gatherings after its public health department recently traced a cluster of at least five coronavirus cases to a birthday party.

The party was held after the city issued stay-at-home orders March 19 and was attended by a large number of extended family members and friends who did not wear face coverings or stay six feet apart, the city said in a news release.
“One person showed up to the party exhibiting symptoms and joking she may have the virus,” Lisa Derderian, spokeswoman for the city of Pasadena, said in an email. “The aftermath affected several others who became seriously ill because of one person’s negligent and selfish behavior.”

Through contact tracing, a Pasadena Public Health Department disease investigation team discovered more than five laboratory-confirmed coronavirus cases among attendees of the party “and many more ill individuals,” the city said. The team identified the woman as the index case, or the first patient in the outbreak identified with the infection, officials said.

“This is an example of how good contact tracing can identify disease clusters and tell us more about the spread of disease in our community,” Dr. Matthew Feaster, an epidemiologist with the Public Health Department, said in a statement.

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City officials reminded residents that, even as some recreation areas are reopening and some businesses are resuming curbside pickup services, it’s still recommended that those who are 65 and older or have underlying health conditions stay home.

“Pasadena residents who stay home keep themselves and their loved ones protected from COVID-19,” said Dr. Ying-Ying Goh, director and health officer of the Pasadena Public Health Department, in a statement.

She said that gatherings of people who don’t live in the same household remain prohibited. That includes Mother’s Day parties.

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“The virus remains highly contagious,” Goh said. “Social distancing, frequent hand washing, and wearing face coverings remain our best defenses against the further spread of COVID-19 in our community.”


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