COVID-19 cluster traced to Rhode Island bachelorette party

A cluster of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts has been traced to a bachelorette party in Rhode Island late last month

BOSTON — A cluster of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts has been traced to a bachelorette party in Rhode Island late last month, health officials in both states said.

Nineteen guests who attended the late July gathering at an undisclosed location were sickened, authorities said. Seventeen were from Massachusetts.

“There was a bachelorette party with roughly 20 people held in late July,” Joseph Wendelken, a spokesman for the Rhode Island Department of Health told The Providence Journal on Wednesday. “The group was mostly from Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health did the contact tracing around the many people from Massachusetts who got sick. Two Rhode Island residents tested positive. We did the contact tracing around these two individuals.”

Ann Scales, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, said earlier the 19 cases were “among a group of individuals who rented a house together in Rhode Island for a wedding event that took place in late July.”

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker referred to the event at a news conference Tuesday as he discussed the importance of face coverings, social distancing and proper hygiene.

“Everyone who went to that wedding except one person tested positive for COVID,” Baker said.

A wedding reception earlier this month in Maine resulted in at least 60 COVID-19 cases, and one death, health officials in Maine have said. Twenty-two of those people attended the reception, while the others are secondary or tertiary cases.

That wedding reception outbreak resulted in outbreaks at a nursing home and a jail, officials said.