CDC Study on COVID-19: 'Evidence of Widespread Transmission Was Not Identified' at Anime NYC
posted on by Adriana Hazra
The New York Times reported on Thursday that according to a study released on the same day by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “evidence of widespread transmission [of COVID-19] during the [Anime NYC] event was not identified.” The study relied on test result data from 4,560 Anime NYC attendees from health department surveillance systems as well as online surveys sent out to attendees asking about their test results, symptoms, and activities during the convention.
The study found that 2.6% of those 4,560 attendees tested positive for COVID-19. According to the New York Times, the attendees of the Anime NYC convention did not have a higher rate of infection of COVID-19 than the general population of New York City around the same time. Additionally, the majority of the samples that tested positive (and were genetically sequenced) were of the Delta variant of COVID-19. The report additionally found that conventiongoers who became infected with COVID-19 were more likely to have gone to bars, nightclubs, or karaoke clubs.
The new CDC study credited the organizers of the event for putting prevention precautions in place, such as fitting the convention center with HEPA filters, which have been shown to efficiently remove coronavirus particles from the air. The New York Times reported that a "combination of good air filtration, widespread vaccination and indoor masking in fact helped prevent the anime convention in November from becoming a superspreader event."
The Anime NYC event took place at New York City's Javits Center between November 19 and 21. The event required proof of COVID-19 vaccination and mask usage for all participants (those under 12 required proof of a negative test). Anime NYC's rules only required one vaccination, and the convention's website stated, "you can attend immediately after your first dose." Organizers estimated that 53,000 attendees came to the convention.
A Minnesota man then tested positive for the Omicron variant of COVID-19 on November 24, and he was the second confirmed case of the Omicron variant in the United States.
The Washington Post newspaper reported on December 3 that the Minnesota man had met up with about 35 friends at the Anime NYC convention, and "about half" of them had tested positive for COVID-19.
CDC director Rochelle Walensky held a press briefing on December 7 regarding the investigation of the situation. The CDC had, at the time, contacted 35,000 of the 53,000 people who attended the event.
Source: The New York Times (Benjamin Mueller)