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Large gatherings are fueling rising Covid-19 cases, but they keep happening

Andrew Cuomo

With the coronavirus running rampant within American communities, health officials have made clear it’s not yet time to ease up on precautions.

Instead, governors and experts from coast to coast have urged Americans to keep face masks in indoor public spaces, maintain their distance from others and avoid crowded spaces.

That’s as infections nationwide have climbed past 4.3 million and at least 149,258 have lost their lives — and some experts say the coming months could mean thousands of more deaths.

During a stop in Kentucky over the weekend, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx urged states who are seeing a concerning increase in cases to downsize their gatherings to less than 10 people, adding many of the young people who are spreading the virus are asymptomatic.

Despite the grim numbers and stern warnings, some Americans have chosen to return to pre-pandemic habits, ditching guidelines and attending parties.

700 party together in New Jersey

In Jackson, New Jersey, it took police more than five hours Sunday to break up a house party with about 700 guests. The home was being rented out through Airbnb, police said.

“Come on folks! Come on,” Gov. Phil Murphy, said during a news conference Monday. “That’s needlessly putting men and women in uniform and their families at risk.”

His executive order limits indoor gatherings to 100 people and outdoor gatherings to 500.

Health officials say they’re worried the event will lead to more coronavirus cases.

“It’s still too early to determine what to expect but in the meantime it’s crucial to remind residents – especially our young adults – that neglecting to adhere to the mandated safety measures can have serious repercussions on a community,” Brian Lippai, spokesman for the Ocean County Health Department, told CNN.

“We’ve come a long way in the last several weeks and incidents like this can lead to serious setbacks in our efforts to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.”

Meanwhile in Middletown, New Jersey, a party earlier in July led to a cluster of cases in the area with more than 20 teens testing positive for the virus. The partygoers ranged in age from 15 to 19 years old, officials said.

NY governor ‘appalled’ at Hamptons concert

In New York, authorities are investigating a drive-in concert at the Hamptons after footage appeared to show large groups of people not following social distancing guidelines.

The “Safe & Sound” benefit concert took place in Southampton Saturday, according to Jack Sterne, a spokesman for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It was headlined by The Chainsmokers and an event page said it would allow about 600 vehicles.

Cuomo posted a video on Twitter Monday, saying there were “egregious social distancing violations.”

“I am appalled. The Department of Health will conduct an investigation,” the governor said. “We have no tolerance for the illegal & reckless endangerment of public health.”

Non-essential gatherings of more than 50 people are still banned in the state, and fines for violating social distancing protocol could reach up to $1,000.

More than 40 cases linked to Michigan party

In Michigan, health officials traced at least 43 cases of the virus back to a large house party in Washtenaw County, Michigan, earlier this month.

Most of the cases were people between the ages of 15 and 25 years old.

Health officials asked anyone who attended the party to self-quarantine and monitor the symptoms for two weeks. Health officials believe more than five dozen others had face-to-face contact with a confirmed case — not including members of the same household as those infected.

Thousands gather at rodeo in protest

And in Minnesota, despite restrictions on gatherings, thousands of peopleb– many without masks — attended a rodeo last week in protest after officials attempted to limit spectators.

“If people would like to come and protest against this ridiculous Government Over Reach, feel free to do so, I will not stand in the way of peoples ‘Right to Assemble,'” wrote Cimarron Pitzen, who hosts the annual event, on Facebook.

The post was shared hundreds of times and thousands answered the call. The state’s latest coronavirus plans prohibit outdoor gatherings of more than 250 people and even then, require residents keep at least six feet distance.

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