Columbia/Boone County Health Department says COVID-19 cases tied to holiday parties

The Columbia/Boone County Health Department says people going to holiday parties and gatherings while infected with COVID-19 spread the virus to others.  The department posted findings on social media that revealed 26 people went to Halloween parties with the virus, exposing over 300 people. Later, 59 people tested positive for the virus after attending a Halloween party or being exposed to someone who had. 

The department also reported that 31 people went to Thanksgiving gatherings while infectious, exposing over 200 people.  That led to 44 people testing positive for the virus after going to such a gathering or being exposed to someone who did. 

The department says they were able to identify these cases through contact tracing so the numbers might actually be higher.  The data does suggest that the Thanksgiving gatherings were smaller, so the virus didn’t spread to as many people.