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COVID-19 outbreak linked to music festival in eastern Oregon

August 11, 2021 GMT

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — Local health leaders are looking into a COVID-19 outbreak linked to an outdoor music festival in eastern Oregon.

Umatilla County Public Health Director Joseph Fiumara said they’ve tied 66 cases to the Pendleton Whiskey Music Fest on July 10, KATU-TV reported.

COVID-19 outbreaks linked to outdoor music festivals are raising new concerns about outdoor transmission, he said.

“With delta, some of our assumptions with how safe an outdoor event was, probably aren’t as good as they were with the original version of this virus,” Fiumara said. “I do think it means it’s not as safe as what we were comfortable with.”

Fiumara said five of the 66 people who tested positive were vaccinated. He said 43 of those cases are among Umatilla County residents. Some cases were traced to a party pit area, Fiumara said.

Health leaders continue to encourage those not yet vaccinated to get the vaccine.

“My advice to folks, is first, get vaccinated. It’s not 100%, but it will likely keep you out of the hospital and lower your risk of death,” Fiumara said.