MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — A dozen people who attended a party in Bristol have since tested positive for the coronavirus and hundreds of others may need to quarantine as a result.
According to state officials, more than 20 people attended the party last weekend, which is now being described as a “super spreader event.”
Gov. Gina Raimondo, during her briefing on Friday, said casual social gatherings are the biggest reason the state’s case numbers are increasing.
“You could easily see 500 people being quarantined – four different school districts,” she said of the Bristol party. “Those are the kind of disruptive things that have to stop.”
When word of the party spread, residents reacted with disappointment.
“We’re all making sacrifices not to hang out with family members or see anyone,” said Nani Cherenzia of Middletown. “We’re all dealing with all kinds of things, so it’s kind of a selfish move to hang out with people with no masks and no social distancing.”
Four students at Middle Town High School have tested positive for the virus, prompting Superintendent Rosemarie Kraeger to close the building until Nov. 17. Students will engage in distance learning until then, she said, and the school will be thoroughly cleaned.
“We need to be vigilant about these gatherings,” Kraeger said. “To let our guard down and attend a party where social distancing and masks aren’t being worn is a risk that they’re taking.”
Epidemiologists and contact tracers are still investigating the party. Raimondo said if it was as bad as they think, the host could face a fine.