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Illinois Bar Opening Event Related to 46 Covid-19 Cases, School Closure and Hospitalization, CDC Report Says



The Illinois Department of Public Health identified 29 individuals who tested positive for Covid-19 or had Covid-19-like symptoms within 14 days of opening the indoor bar. All 29 cases were confirmed by Covid-19 antigen or nucleic acid amplification tests, except for one probable symptomatic case that did not receive testing.

The report said those present at the bar had been in close contact with at least 71 others. Of the 37 close contacts tested for Covid-19, 17 were positive within 14 days of contact.

Two of the secondary cases of Covid-19 were student athletes in close contact with a bar visitor with Covid-19, who attended indoor sports practices and private classes. The school with 650 children was closed for two weeks, starting on February 1

8, after 13 employees were unable to work due to isolation, quarantine or their quarantined child.

Three of Covid-19’s secondary cases are residents of long-term care in close contact with a bar visitor who worked as a certified nurse assistant. The nurse tested positive for Covid-19 four days after the bar opened. One person who contracted one of these secondary cases of Covid-19 was hospitalized within 14 days of a positive test result. However, the face was discharged the same day.

Two weeks after the event, the county’s seven-day average daily frequency of Covid-19 has doubled to at least 86 cases per 100,000 people, according to the report.

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“Bars may play a role in the spread of COVID-19 in the community due to the limited use of masks while eating or drinking and the lack of consistent physical distancing,” the report said. “These findings show that SARS-CoV transmission originating from a business as a bar affects not only the patrons and staff of the bar, but can affect the whole community.”

The event in the bar was held indoors, without outside air flow. Attendees cited inconsistent use of a mask and disregard for instructions to physically distance themselves by six feet. Although the total number of people who attended the event is unknown, the bar can accommodate about 100 people, the report said.

The high percentage of symptomatic people associated with the event, 82.6%, and the reluctance of many people to disclose contacts suggest that the actual number of cases was higher than found, according to the CDC report.

“As businesses in the community begin to reopen, these findings underscore the importance of businesses and people adhering to public health prevention and mitigation guidelines to reduce additional community transmission, including isolation after a COVID-19 diagnosis. and while experiencing symptoms similar to COVID-19, even as vaccination efforts are expanding, “the report said.


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