Bristol 'Superspreader' Party Linked To 21 Coronavirus Cases

Rachel Nunes
·1 min read

BRISTOL, RI — Even as state officials urged Rhode Islanders to avoid unstructured social gatherings, keep their contacts small and wear masks when with those outside their immediate household, a high school house party in Bristol had put hundreds of people in quarantine and has been connected to nearly two dozen cases of coronavirus, Gov. Gina Raimondo said Thursday.

The governor first discussed the party last week. At the beginning of her news conference, Raimondo said there were five confirmed cases connected to the event, which ballooned to 12 by the end of the hour. This week, that number nearly doubled to 21, with 350 people in quarantine after being identified as close contacts.

Four school districts and several sports teams have been affected by the single event, Raimondo said, adding that it illustrates the importance of everyone pulling together as a state to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and prevent another total shutdown of the economy.

In the week since the party was first discussed, Raimondo said she heard from several people who said they will hold parties and large gatherings regardless, even those who say they want to say they went to a "superspreader" event. To those people, Raimondo said they would be responsible if and when another shutdown happens and more Rhode Islanders die from the coronavirus.

"Your behavior is going to lead to another shutdown of Rhode Island's economy," Raimondo said bluntly. "It's not a joke ... If we don't cut down on these parties, I'll be back here in two weeks with a shutdown order."

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This article originally appeared on the Bristol-Warren Patch