http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/politics/people-who-attended-trump-s-rose-garden-event-need-to-be-tested/article/579243

People who attended Trump's Rose Garden event need to be tested

Posted Oct 8, 2020 by Karen Graham
The average number of new daily coronavirus infections across the greater Washington D.C. region reached a 19-day high Thursday as local health officials sent an open letter urging people connected to a White House outbreak to get tested.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett speaks after being nominated to the US Supreme Court by President Donald Tru...
Judge Amy Coney Barrett speaks after being nominated to the US Supreme Court by President Donald Trump
Olivier DOULIERY, AFP
Over 150 people gathered in the White House Rose Garden September 26, just to see President Donald Trump officially nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. As is the case with most events connected to Trump, very few people wore masks, and there was a lot of shaking hands and hugging.
Business Insider reports that after the event outside, many of the attendees - including Trump and Barrett - continued the celebration inside the White House.
Within five days of that event, the president and first lady, Melania Trump, tested positive for the coronavirus. The outbreak that followed the Rose Garden event has hit nearly a dozen other White House staff and GOP officials, including White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany; Rev. John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame University; Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina; former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey; the former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway; Pastor Greg Laurie; the assistant press secretaries Chad Gilmartin and Karoline Leavitt; and the journalist Al Drago.
Superspreader event
While health officials say there is no direct evidence of widespread ties to the September 26, Rose Garden event suspected of being at the center of the outbreak, the timelines of those who attended the ceremony, along with their schedules in the week preceding the diagnoses, suggests the event as a likely superspreader event.
There has been a spike in infections stemming from a reporting issue Thursday that lifted the number of confirmed cases in D.C., Virginia and Maryland above 300,000 since the start of the pandemic, reports the Washington Post.
"It makes perfect sense why it would've spread there," David Battinelli, the chief medical officer at Northwell Health who is also a professor of medicine at Hofstra University, told Business Insider, adding: "There were people in close contact with someone highly contagious with the disease who were invariably not paying attention to distancing, hand hygiene, or masking."
Be that as it may, Washington D.C. Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt and health officers from nine other counties and cities across the Washington region sent a letter Thursday to “community members” asking that anyone who had worked in the White House within the past two weeks get tested.
Additionally, the letter asks anyone who attended the White House Rose Garden event - or who has had close contact with someone who attended the event - to also get tested.
The letter contains contact information for local health departments. “As an additional reminder, if you are identified as a contact, having a negative test does not limit the time period within which you are required to quarantine,” the leaders wrote, citing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that recommend a 14-day quarantine.
Thursday letter comes as health officials in the Washington region recorded its sixth-highest daily infection tally since the start of the pandemic. This spike was fueled by a one-day reporting issue in Virginia. The state reported 1,844 cases — its second-highest ever — but health officials noted that 689 of those cases should have been included in Wednesday’s tally.
Even with correcting the daily case count, it still brought the seven-day average caseload in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. to 1,591 cases — the highest since September 19, when the average stood at 1,611.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Trump tested positive five days after the Barrett event, with many other officials announcing positive tests soon after. It usually takes about four to five days after getting infected with the virus to show symptoms, but the incubation period can be anywhere from two to 14 days.