A cluster of COVID-19 cases in New York City has been tied to the Electric Zoo music festival.
The New York City Department of Health (NYC DOH) is investigating the outbreak and has discovered at least 16 cases linked to the event, which was held on Randalls Island.
Officials are urging all attendees, whether they are vaccinated or not, to get tested for the virus.
Large gatherings like music festivals returned this year after being forced to take a year off due to COVID-19.
While it is believed that most of these evens were able to successfully prevent large-scale spread of the virus due to testing and vaccination requirements, some cases have been tied back to these events.
Electric Zoo, a music festival at Randall’s Island Park in New York City, has been tied to a cluster of COVID-19 cases that includes at least 16 people. Investigators believe at least eight people arrived while contagious. Pictured: A crowd of revelers at Electric Zoo on September 5
Electric Zoo required all attendees to have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, and those who tested positive for the virus before attending were offered refunds. An estimated 100,000 people attended. Pictured: Kshmr performs at Electric Zoo on September 5
‘The Health Department is leading this investigation, but New Yorkers have a vital role to play,’ said Dr Dave Chokshi, NYC Health Commissioner, said in a statement published by the DOH.
‘Anyone who attended this festival should get tested immediately, regardless of whether or not they have been vaccinated. This is especially urgent if attendees are experiencing symptoms.’
Electric Zoo is a yearly electronic dance music festival that takes place over Labor Day weekend on Randalls Island in New York City.
Upwards of 100,000 people attend the three-day event.
This year, attendees were required to have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend.
If a person were to test positive for the virus within 14 days before the event, organizers would offer them a refund, according to the festival’s website.
In addition to the 16 cases, the NYC DOH said it believes that at least eight people are attended Electric Zoo while contagious with the virus.
However, these individuals are likely to have been exposed before they attended the festival.
Electric Zoo is not the only major outdoor festival that was discovered to have caused spread of the virus.
Lollapalooza, a Chicago-based festival with more than 400,000 attendees, was linked to 203 cases.
For festivals as large as Electric Zoo and Lollapalooza, the case counts tied to the events are relatively low, and they could be considered successes.
These successes can be attributed to Covid protocols the events put in place – Lollapalooza required a negative test or full vaccination to attend.
Other festivals that did not have these types of requirements proved to be Covid hotspots.
Pendleton Whisky Music Fest, which took place in mid-July with 12,000 attendees in Pendleton, Oregon, proved to be the source of at least 62 Covid cases.
Around 70,000 people attended Faster Horses Festival in Brooklyn, Michigan, in July as well, and 92 cases were tied back to the event.
Neither event had any masking, testing or vaccination requirements in order to attend.
Some health officials that the case counts from these festivals could be undercounted as well, and even the successes may not be as bright as they appear at face value.
‘This work is not always completely accurate and often gives us undercounts,’ Dr Mercedes Carnethon, vice-chair of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, told USA Today last month.