Daily Covid cases in Riverside County, California, rose 76 percent in two weeks as tens of thousands of people gathered there for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival over the last two weekends.
Though most Coachella events were outside, the festival did not require visitors to wear masks or present proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid test.
“When you’re in close proximity to others singing and dancing and and eating and drinking — all the things that you do with these festivals — it’s not surprising that we’re going to see transmission,” said Anne Rimoin, an epidemiology professor at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
Riverside County’s average daily Covid cases jumped from 102 on April 14, the day before the festival started, to 180 cases on Thursday, four days after it ended. But that figure is likely an undercount, disease experts said, because of the common use of at-home tests.
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Two popular music festivals in California have dropped all COVID-related restrictions for attendees.