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COVID-19 cases are spiking in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, but local health officials have not reported any link to former President Barack Obama's 60th birthday bash that took place nearly two weeks ago.
Although the number of cases has risen to 158 since the Aug. 7 event, Tisbury health agent and boards of health spokesperson Maura Valley said, "As of today, I haven't seen any cases linked to the Obama party," according to the Daily Mail on Friday.
Tisbury is a town located on the north end of the island. Obama's roughly $12 million estate is located on the southeast end in Edgartown, where Janet Hathaway, assistant to the health board, shared similar news earlier this week.
Obama's Saturday night birthday celebration had a sizable guest list of hundreds of people, including celebrities, but attendees were pressed to adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public health protocols. Still, it received a great deal of scrutiny, particularly after a video posted to social media showed Obama dancing without a face covering at the Hawaiian luau-themed celebration.
Back on the island, the surge in COVID-19 cases has several towns imposing new mask mandates. Martha’s Vineyard Hospital officials say patients, including those unrelated to COVID-19, are filling up emergency room space in a way not seen since the beginning of the pandemic.
While it is still possible a link to Obama's birthday party could be found, time for that is running out as most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range up to 14 days.
"We still have contact tracing going on, but I think if there were cases popping up from the party, we'd be seeing them already," Valley said.
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Original Author: Daniel Chaitin