Birthday party linked to California coronavirus ‘cluster’

Multiple people have tested positive for coronavirus after attending a birthday party.
Multiple people have tested positive for coronavirus after attending a birthday party.(

At least five coronavirus cases in California “and many more ill individuals” have been tied back to a Pasadena birthday party after the state instituted its stay-at-home order, according to local health officials.

One attendee who was coughing during the party did not wear a face mask, according to the city of Pasadena. Other guests also ignored guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, failing to socially distance or wear masks.

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

“Although we are moving forward with small modifications to the Safer at Home Order, gatherings of people who do not live in the same household are still prohibited. The virus remains highly contagious. Social distancing, frequent hand washing, and wearing face coverings remain our best defenses against the further spread of COVID-19 in our community.”

Health officials did not specify when the party took place, but said that it was after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the stay-at-home order on March 19.

It’s unclear how many people were at the party, only “a large number of extended family members and friends.”

“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, the Pasadena Public Health Department epidemiologist, said in a statement.

“We’re grateful to our large team of public health nurses, case investigators, and contact tracers who help track the virus and prevent the disease from spreading to other members of our community.”

Health officials also warned to use this case as a warning sign against Mother’s Day celebrations Sunday, urging people to stay home.

As of Friday, the latest update, more than 64,500 people in California have tested positive for coronavirus. Of those, at least 2,678 have died.

Even as Newsom begins to lift the statewide lockdown, residents are still advised to wear face masks in public and stay home as much as possible.

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