Health officials in Grant County, Washington, are investigating multiple COVID-19 deaths at long-term care facilities that may be linked to a 300-person wedding in November.
A number of staff members who worked at the facilities attended the wedding on November 7, which health officials called a superspreader event that violated the state's ban on large gatherings. At least 40 guests tested positive for COVID-19 after the wedding, which was linked to at least two outbreaks. Health officials confirmed that several staff members were among the confirmed cases.
A couple of weeks after the wedding, health officials identified outbreaks at three long-term care facilities in the county. According to KING-TV, 66 residents and 44 staff members tested positive for COVID-19 at one facility.
Health officials said that the outbreaks resulted in the deaths of seven patients who were in their 70s, 80s, and 90s. They all had underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of developing severe complications from a coronavirus infection.
Authorities said there are four other possible deaths linked to the outbreak, but they are still waiting for the death certificates to be reviewed.
Officials were unable to determine if the staff members who tested positive had any direct interaction with the deceased patients because they care for entire units.
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