Cluster of COVID-19 cases traced to coughing woman, lack of masks at SoCal birthday party

A Pasadena party where a woman without a face mask was coughing and other guests weren't observing social distancing led to at least five COVID-19 cases, officials say.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Cluster of 5 COVID-19 cases traced to Pasadena birthday party
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A birthday party in Pasadena where a woman without a face mask was coughing and other guests weren't observing social distancing has led to at least five COVID-19 cases and possibly more, officials say.

PASADENA, Calif. -- If there's one thing you don't want to do in the middle of a pandemic lockdown, it's throwing a big birthday party.

But that's exactly what happened in Pasadena last month. And when a woman infected with coronavirus showed up and was coughing at the party without a mask, public health officials say the virus took off.

"There was someone who was coughing who attended the party and there were subsequently five laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 and many other people who are ill with COVID symptoms after that," said Dr. Ying-Ying Goh, the city of Pasadena's health officer.

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Pasadena public health workers were able to track the spread of the virus back to the party by contact tracing. Officials say guests at the party did not wear face coverings or practice social distancing.

Health officials said the party was attended by "a large number" of extended family members and friends after the coronavirus stay-at-home order was issued.

But what's unknown right now is if any of the five infected partygoers have also spread the infection to others over the past few weeks.

"Everyone is asked to stay at home," Goh said. "They're ordered to stay at home, but we're just asking for the public's cooperation to keep yourself and your family safe."

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City officials say no citations were issued in connection with the party.

Elsewhere in Pasadena, the city has reopened golf courses, but the popular Rose Bowl Loop trail remains closed. Libraries are also closed, but some city librarians are helping out during the pandemic by working with the health department as contact tracers.

Free COVID-19 testing is available at the Rose Bowl and ChapCare's Kathryn Barger Health Center. Appointments are required. Register on the city's official website.

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