High school house party in Bristol leads to 21 positive coronavirus cases, 350 in quarantine
A high school house party in Bristol is now being referred to as a super spreader for coronavirus, as it has led to nearly two dozen positive cases and has sent hundreds into quarantine.
BRISTOL, R.I. (WLNE) – A high school house party in Bristol is now being referred to as a super spreader for coronavirus, as it has led to nearly two dozen positive cases and has sent hundreds into quarantine.
According to the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) a social gathering of around 25 people was held on October 24 in Bristol.
Since then, 21 people have tested positive for coronavirus and roughly 350 people are in quarantine.
RIDOH spokesperson Joseph Wendelken said the department first became aware of the party after a few cases popped up and contact tracers traced them back to the gathering.
“There are several schools that are involved, most of them on Aquidneck Island. Middletown High School is one of the major schools that’s involved, but it involves students from several area communities,” Wendelken said.
Governor Gina Raimondo mentioned the party in her COVID-19 press briefing last week and this week, saying when she first brought it up there were 5 cases, and by the end of last week’s briefing, there were 12.
Raimondo said some people are challenging the super spreader event, saying they want to hold similar and even bigger events.
“If you guys want to take that approach,” Raimondo said Thursday, “having parties, kids will be kids, it’s not that big of a deal… I just need you to know this. Your behavior is going to lead to another shutdown of Rhode Island’s economy.”
The outbreak affected several sports teams across four school districts. Superintendents of Bristol and Middletown’s school districts did not respond to our request for comment.
“It’s very disruptive. When you make a decision to go to a party like this you should be mindful of the fact that it has the potential to affect really everyone, all the loved ones of people who are close to you in your life,” added Wendelken.
Those found holding large social gatherings could face fines of $500 each, the Governor has said. In this case, no one has been fined yet, but RIDOH is working with school leaders to determine the next steps in terms of fines.
© WLNE-TV 2020