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COVID-19 Hits 75% of Washington Community Choir in Clear Instance of "Super Spreading"

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A choir practice held in Washington state earlier this month has resulted in what officials are calling a clear instance of COVID-19 "super spreading" after 75% of the attendees were diagnosed with the virus.

The practice took place on March 10, a month and a half after the first coronavirus case was reported in the state. At the time, there were no bans on large gatherings.

The choir members were given hand sanitizer and refrained from hugs and handshakes, but it apparently wasn't enough.

Three weeks later, 45 members of the group, Skagit Valley Chorale, have been diagnosed with COVID-19, three have been hospitalized and two have died.

"We didn't touch. We didn't share music," said Mark Backlund, who was at the practice with his wife Ruth. The two have since tested positive for the virus. 

The outbreak is seen as a powerful warning about the importance of social distancing.

Health officials in the U.S. continue to urge the public to avoid nonessential gatherings of 10 or more people to slow the spread of the virus.

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