CDC Report Looks at COVID-19 Clusters in Chicago

April 9, 2020

A funeral and a birthday party that spurred clusters of COVID-19 cases in Chicago are the focus of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released on Wednesday.

Most early cases COVID-19 transmission occurred among people living together, followed by spread in healthcare facilities and congregate settings. According to the report, widespread community transmission now happening between non-household contacts in the U.S. results in more expansive transmission of the virus.

The Chicago Department of Public Health investigated the cluster of 16 confirmed or probable cases, which included three deaths, between two extended family gatherings. A close family friend who had traveled out of state and was experiencing mild respiratory symptoms likely began the chain of transmission at both the funeral and birthday party. The individual, a male, was diagnosed with COVID-19 as part of the epidemiologic investigation.

During both events, the individual embraced others and shared food from common serving dishes. The CDC report on these clusters stressed the importance of adhering to social distancing, avoiding gatherings and following stay-at-home orders by state or local authorities.