A large portion of newly infected coronavirus patients in the District of Columbia contracted the disease from individuals who showed no symptoms.
The data comes from an analysis of the city’s contact tracing cases released by the DC Department of Health.
Out of 971 cases reported between July 31 and August 13, 711 patients answered the question about whether they had contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 during the exposure period.
A total of 51 percent said “no,” while 36 percent said “yes,” and 12 percent said they were unsure, according to DC Health.
In one of the contact tracing case studies, it was explained that eight people from the same family gathered for a birthday party to celebrate a six-year-old’s birthday and they were all infected with the virus days after the party. However, none of the attendees showed symptoms until the day after the party.
Based on the survey on the same 971 cases created from July 31 to August 13, it was revealed that 145 cases reported attending a “large event” during their exposure period. Also, over 60 percent of cases indicated that some part of the event occurred indoors.
“Large events” are gatherings of five or more people, including meetings at places of worship, cookouts, parties, meetings, etc.
The majority of those who attended large events confirmed that social distancing was not observed at some point during the event (62 percent) or they were unsure (five percent).
A total of 102 cases reported traveling by at least one travel mode during their exposure period. Out of those, 71.1 percent said they traveled by plane, 33.3 percent by rideshare, 6.7 percent by public transportation, 8.9 percent by shared van/shuttle, and 4.4 percent by train/commuter rail. (The data includes both domestic and international travels.)
DC Health emphasizes that even mild symptoms can be COVID-19, so “it is important to stay home if you’re not feeling well, even if it doesn’t seem bad,” and that people can infect others “before symptoms start.”