Cluster of COVID-19 Cases Traced to Birthday Party

PASADENA, Calif.—As Mother’s Day approaches, the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD) reminds residents that the best way to celebrate is by staying home and staying healthy. PPHD recently identified a cluster of COVID-19 cases among attendees of a birthday party. Through contact tracing, the PPHD disease investigation team discovered more than five laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and many more ill individuals.

Contact tracing is the process of identifying individuals who may have come into contact with an infected person and collecting information about these contacts. The party was attended by a large number of extended family members and friends after the Safer at Home Order was issued. The index case, or the first patient in the outbreak identified with the disease, was coughing and not wearing a face covering at the party. Guests were also not wearing face coverings or practicing social distancing. As a result, COVID-19 spread among party attendees.

“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,” said Dr. Matthew Feaster, PPHD epidemiologist. “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.”

“Pasadena residents who stay home keep themselves and their loved ones protected from COVID-19,” said Dr. Ying-Ying Goh, director and health officer of PPHD. “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.”

It is still recommended that those with underlying medical conditions and those ages 65 and older do not participate in public recreation or retail curbside pickup, and continue to be safer at home.

Pasadena residents experiencing symptoms, even mild symptoms, are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded known coronavirus symptoms to include fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Free COVID-19 testing is available at the Rose Bowl and ChapCare’s Kathryn Barger Health Center. Appointments are required. Register here:

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