Seven nursing homes in Washington with Covid-19 died after staff attended a wedding of 300 people who violated the governor’s coronavirus restrictions.
The deaths were at three nursing home facilities in Grant County, health officials said Thursday. They were men in their 70s, 80s and 90s who had underlying health conditions, according to a press release from the Grant County Health District.
Four more deaths await death certificate review.
The health department said it was investigating whether the deaths were linked to a Nov. 7 wedding in Ritzville, about 95 miles southwest of Spokane, but an investigation found some staff at the facilities had tested positive after attending the event.
Officials did not say how many employees were guests at the wedding, and a spokesman for the health department did not immediately return a request for comment Saturday.
“Because the staff in these facilities care for entire units, no direct contact with associated patients is known,”
The health department had previously said the wedding was linked to 40 cases of coronavirus and outbreaks at a nursing home facility and a school. The more than 300 guests were asked to be tested and quarantined.
At the time of the ceremony, the government limited Jay Inslee’s executive wedding receptions to 30 people, according to the Tri-City Herald.
“Our most vulnerable members of society – the elderly, the immunocompromised and those with chronic conditions – are particularly at risk of complications due to a COVID-19 infection, and we must continue to take measures to protect them from this disease. The best way to do that is by staying home as much as possible, “urged the health department.
“Your choice to reunite with people outside your household can lead to further cases of COVID-19 and even death. Protect those you love by staying home.”