Cayuga officials outline ‘super-spreader’ Halloween gathering, say they won’t release exposure information moving forward

Over the weekend the Cayuga County Health Department released a number of announcements, updates, and statements to the community as it continues to deal with responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It started with the Department’s typical situational update, which included the news that there were 664 people in mandatory quarantine, 131 active cases in isolation, and nine people currently hospitalized with COVID-19. There had been a total of eight deaths connected to the virus.




Hours later officials were detailing the way in which a Halloween gathering became a super-spreader event, causing eight cases, and resulting in more than 20 people being quarantined. “As we are about three weeks out from Halloween the Cayuga County Health Department is still managing cases associated with those gatherings,” the department said in a release.

“The [below] graphic demonstrates how quickly COVID-19 can spread and just how contagious the virus is. One person who was experiencing symptoms they did not attribute to COVID-19 and who was infectious at the time of the gathering – exposed a large number of people at the gathering on Halloween weekend,” the Department continued.

Altogether 21 people were quarantined, and 13 of those individuals became positive. “The eight individuals who did convert to positive while in quarantine did not have exposures at school sites or workplaces, because we were able to quarantine them from their exposure to the original positive case,” the Department added. “This demonstrates the importance of quarantine.”

By Sunday, the Department announced that they would no longer be publicizing individual sites of potential COVID-19 exposure due to the widespread nature of the virus.




“Due to the fact that COVID-19 is widespread in our community, the Cayuga County Health Department will no longer be announcing possible COVID-19 exposure locations, such as stores and restaurants in Cayuga County,” the Department added in that statement. “CCHD will continue to investigate each positive COVID-19 case and conduct contact tracing in the County. However, we will not be announcing the dates and times if an individual worked, shopped, or ate at a particular location. Please note that all individuals who are identified as close contacts of positive cases will continue to be notified of their exposure.”

Health officials encouraged the public to take precautions to protect themselves every time they leave their home. “There is a risk of exposure each time we go out in public. Especially now with the increase of community spread of COVID-19 and the increased number of cases.”


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