Reopening night at an Illinois bar led to at least 46 COVID-19 cases and the temporary closure of a school, according to a new CDC study.
The bar, located in a rural area of the state and with space for about 100 people, reopened amid the pandemic in early February, researchers said.
The indoor event ended up causing 26 patrons to contract the virus, as well as three bar employees. Another 17 “secondary” coronavirus cases also stemmed from the reopening, and included patients identified as two school athletes and three people in long-term care facilities, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
A local school with 650 children also had to close due to the spread, according to the report.
“These findings demonstrate that opening up environments such as bars, where the use of masks and physical distancing are challenging, can increase the risk of community transmission of SARS-CoV-2,” the study said.
“As community businesses begin to reopen, a multi-component approach should be emphasized in settings such as bars to prevent transmission,” including applying mask wear and social distancing, reducing indoor occupancy, and better ventilation, the researchers said.