Nearly a quarter of the recent coronavirus cases in the District can be traced back to a social gathering, according to newly released data.
The District has interviewed more than 350 residents who were diagnosed with COVID-19 between October 2 and 8 to determine their activities in the days prior to their diagnosis or the emergence of their symptoms, explained Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, head of the DC Health Department, at a news conference on Wednesday.
Approximately one fourth of all patients told the interviewers that they had joined a social gathering of more than five attendees shortly before testing positive for the infectious disease.
When asked if attendees at those events properly followed certain rules to avoid coronavirus such as social distancing and wearing face coverings, over 60 percent gave a negative answer.
Around one fifth of these events were attended by over 20 people.
“People are very comfortable with becoming relaxed when they attend gatherings that are hosted by their friends and family,” Nesbitt said. “We want people to still recognize the importance of maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask any time you are with people [who] are not part of your household, even if they are relatives and close friends.” She added that those same guidelines apply to the workplace.
The District has recorded a total of 16,166 positive cases since the coronavirus pandemic hit the region, and 638 deaths linked to COVID-19.