2 lifeless, dozens have coronavirus after 60 choir members have gathered for a trial
Members of the Skagit Valley Choral can be seen in this file photo.(Facebook / Skagit Valley Chorale)
Two died and dozens tested positive for coronavirus following an outbreak in a group of 60 choir members who had participated in a sample in early March.
The large choir group of Skagit Valley Chorale had considered whether to continue their weekly choir rehearsal in early March. However, they decided to hold the meeting at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church as usual, since no cases of coronavirus had been reported in their Skagit County region and the region's largest outbreak was an hour's drive away in the Seattle area.
The rehearsal took place on March 10th. 121 choir members emailed that the rehearsal would take place, although only half of the 60 appeared that day.
The group has since stated that they have taken precautions at the choir meeting, offered hand disinfectants to everyone when entering, and prohibited any direct contact with one another.
Almost three weeks after the 2.5-hour rehearsal, 45 of the 60 participating choir members were diagnosed with a coronavirus or are sick with symptoms at home.
The group reported that of the 45 affected members, two died and three others were hospitalized.
According to a Los Angeles Times report, more than half a dozen choir members reported that the rehearsal showed no signs of disease.
However, county health officials believe the virus has most likely spread in the air from one or more members who were infected with the virus but showed no symptoms at this time.
The outbreak appears to reinforce warnings from many experts that while social distancing measures are vital to curb the spread of the coronavirus, they are not a 100% guarantee.
The news is a sharp warning as many officials in the United States and around the world have difficulty enforcing locks and orders at home.
The United States now has the world's most confirmed cases of coronavirus, with around 140,000 positive tests and more than 2,400 deaths from COVID-19. Although each country's statistics on confirmed cases can vary greatly from nation to nation depending on testing capacity and strategy.