• A party guest who jokingly said they have COVID-19 ended up infected other visitors
  • The party was celebrated after the city of Pasadena issued their Safer At Home Order on March 22
  • The "index case" and “more than five laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases” were identified through contact tracing
  • The first and patients and guests were not wearing face masks and did not observe social distancing

A guest at a birthday party in Pasadena who jokingly said they have COVID-19 turned out to be true and ended up infecting the rest of the visitors.

In a news release issued by the Pasadena Office of the City Manager, the party gathered a large number of people, including extended family and friends after the city enforced its Safer At Home Order to control the spread of COVID-19 which took effect on March 22.

The “index case,” or the first patient identified with the disease, was said to be coughing and not wearing any face covering. Guests were also not wearing any protective equipment and failed to practice social distancing. This, in turn, spread the virus among the people who attended the occasion.

Map of the United States showing reported cases of COVID-19, as of April 21
Map of the United States showing reported cases of COVID-19, as of April 21 AFP / Patricio ARANA

“One person showed up to the party exhibiting symptoms and joking she may have the virus. The aftermath affected several others who became seriously ill because of one person's negligent and selfish behavior,” pointed Pasadena spokeswoman Lisa Derderian, in an email sent to the Los Angeles Times.

With the help of contact tracing, Pasadena Public Health Department's disease investigation team led to the discovery of “more than five laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases” as well as many more ill individuals.

PPHD epidemiologist Dr. Matthew Feaster acknowledged the effects of “good contact tracing,” especially on how it can identify disease clusters and the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

“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,” Feaster said in the news release.

PPHD director and health officer Dr. Ying-Ying Goh on the other hand reminded residents to stay at home despite the city “moving forward” to ease their Safer At Home Order.

“Gatherings of people who do not live in the same household are still prohibited. The virus remains highly contagious,” said Goh.

She added that the practicing social distancing, the frequent washing of hands and wearing face coverings continue to be “best defenses” against the virus.

City officials are advising residents who are 65 or older, or those with underlying medical conditions, to remain indoors, especially now that some recreational areas are beginning to reopen alongside several retail businesses offering curbside pickup services, according to the New York Post.