Multiple Transmission Chains Within COVID-19 Cluster, Connecticut, USA, 2020

Stephen M. Bart; Eileen Flaherty; Tara Alpert; Sherry Carlson; Lisa Fasulo; Rebecca Earnest; Elizabeth B. White; Noel Dickens; Anderson F. Brito; Nathan D. Grubaugh; James L. Hadler; Lynn E. Sosa

Disclosures

Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2021;27(10):2669-2672. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

In fall 2020, a coronavirus disease cluster comprising 16 cases occurred in Connecticut, USA. Epidemiologic and genomic evidence supported transmission among persons at a school and fitness center but not a workplace. The multiple transmission chains identified within this cluster highlight the necessity of a combined investigatory approach.

Introduction

During widespread community transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), transmission chains are sometimes unclear. Although often unavailable, viral genome sequencing can complement epidemiologic investigations.

In fall 2020, the Connecticut Department of Public Health analyzed data from contact tracing interviews and initially identified 5 cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2, in employees of a single workplace within 1 week. One employee also worked at an elementary school and fitness center; in those settings, several contacts of this employee later tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. At the time, the weekly community case rate in this county was 141 cases/100,000 persons (https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Data-Tracker), reflecting high community transmission according to thresholds set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).[1] To better characterize this cluster, we investigated its scope, phylogenetic relationships, and factors associated with transmission.

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