The New York State Department of Health is leading the investigation into a cluster of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases that were reported following a high school graduation ceremony in Northern Westchester.
There have been more than a dozen confirmed COVID-19 cases after a person who recently traveled to Florida attended the Horace Greeley High School graduation and parties in Chappaqua on Saturday, June 20.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the state is currently in the process of doing contract tracing from those in attendance at the graduation in an attempt to keep the spread of COVID-19 as contained as possible.
“We have an elaborate tracing system, so when we find a positive case, we can trace it back, and it has proven effective,” Cuomo said during a COVID-19 press briefing on Monday, June 29.
“We were able to trace back several clusters of cases, including a Westchester graduation, where a young man came up from Florida and attended a graduation and led to 13 cases,” he added. “But this is good news. This means the system works.
“You find the positive, trace it back, find the common denominator, and trace it to its source.”
Cuomo said that anyone who attended the graduation ceremony should self-quarantine until at least Sunday, July 5.
“We’ve seen this in Westchester before. It was one person in New Rochelle,” he noted. “It was one person in New Rochelle. It was the first hotspot in the United States. That one person led to hundreds of COVID cases.”
- Earlier story - COVID-19: Student Returning From Florida Tests Positive After Westchester HS Graduation
Following the outbreak, Dr. Howard Zucker, the state’s Health Commissioner, sent a letter to the community advising that his department is working with the Westchester Department of Health to investigate the COVID-19 outbreak.
“All individuals who have tested positive have been contacted by public health professionals, and all are currently adhering to appropriate isolation measures,” Zucker wrote. "In addition to the graduation ceremony, the student participated in a non-school related ‘Field Night’ event on June 20, which was also attended by juniors and seniors and students from surrounding school districts.
“We are working with officials from Horace Greeley to identify everyone who attended the graduation ceremony and any subsequent gatherings where they may have been exposed. The New York State Contact Tracing Program will be reaching out to identified individuals.”
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