COVID-19 Cluster Investigation Among Party Attendees in St. George, Grenada, August 2021

Respiratory Diseases
Health Information Systems (Including Surveillance)

In August 2021, a 17-year-old female presented to the Emergency Department of the St. Georges General Hospital, with body aches and flu-like symptoms. The patient subsequently tested positive for Covid-19 using Antigen and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests. An investigation was launched by the Ministry of Health to locate contacts and implement prevention and control measures.

Active case finding was conducted through face to face and telephone interviews to identify contacts of the index case, who attended a party at a village bar. Exposed individuals were those who attended the party or had direct contact with the index case; while a confirmed case was any symptomatic or asymptomatic person testing positive for Covid-19 through PCR testing. All persons attending the party were asked to self-isolate and tested for SARS-CoV-2 on days seven (7) and fourteen (14), post party. Descriptive analysis was carried out. The attack rate was defined as the number of confirmed cases divided by the number of exposed persons. Nasopharyngeal swabs (19) were sent to the Caribbean Public Health Authority (CARPHA) Laboratory in Trinidad for genomic sequencing.

Of the forty (40) people who attended the party, thirteen (13) tested positive for Covid-19. The majority of the cases were females (63.1%), the median age was 36 years (range: 14 – 50 years), and 20% were fully vaccinated. Four (4) additional cases were detected on exit screening and on return to the USA. The overall attack rate was 42.5% (17/40) with the Delta variant being identified.

This situation arose due to lack of adherence to national Covid-19 protocols in place at the time, namely a ban on gatherings, lack of social distancing and poor hygienic practices. Public health announcements were made based on the findings, urging the need for adherence to the protocols, and avoidance of such high-risk party-like activities.

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