Health officials are asking anyone who attended the party to self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms for the next 14 days

By Claudia Harmata
July 14, 2020 11:29 AM
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Michigan health officials are reporting over 40 new cases linked to one large house party that took place in early July in Washtenaw County.

The Washtenaw County Health Department said officials have identified 43 cases and 66 exposed close contacts, not including family members in the immediate households of cases, linked to the party in the Saline area, per a press release on Monday.

Officials say the party is believed to have taken place between July 2 and 3, and the majority of new cases are among young people ages 15 to 25 years.

“This is a very clear example of how quickly this virus spreads and how many people can be impacted in a very short amount of time” said Jimena Loveluck, MSW, Health Officer with Washtenaw County Health Department. “We cannot hope to accomplish our goal of containing COVID-19 and preventing additional cases, hospitalizations and deaths without full community support and cooperation.”

“We need people of all ages, including young people, to take COVID-19 seriously and follow public health guidelines and instructions," Loveluck continued. "That means avoiding large gatherings without physical distancing or face coverings. It also means cooperating with the Health Department to complete case investigation and contact tracing."

Health officials are asking anyone who attended the party to self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms for the next 14 days.

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The department said it is working to directly reach out to every individual identified as a close contact to provide guidance and monitor for illness. Officials also want to remind those impacted to seek testing if any symptoms appear — and that a negative test done prior to 14 days does not eliminate the need to self-quarantine.

“None of us wants to be the reason someone in our community or county becomes seriously ill or dies,” Brian D. Marl, Mayor of the City of Saline, said in a statement. “We have the opportunity to work together and with our local health department to contain this as quickly as possible. We know what we need to do, and we can certainly do it.”

Michigan officials are facing a similar situation in another part of their state, where several people have tested positive after attending an annual Fourth of July holiday bash at the Torch Lake sandbar.

Torch Lake
Michigan State Police

Video of the weekend shared to YouTube showed people crowding the lake in Antrim County, with little to no social distancing in place, and few people wearing face coverings.

Thousands of people were estimated to be in attendance, according to UpNorthLive.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s most recent executive order mandates masks in public indoor and crowded outdoor spaces and went into effect on Monday, according to MLive.

As of Tuesday morning, there have been at least 77,354 cases of coronavirus in the state and at least 6,324 people had died, according to a New York Times database

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