The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed it’s conducting an investigation into several dozen COVID-19 cases linked to the agency’s annual conference that occurred in Georgia last week.
The CDC’s three-day 2023 Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) conference began April 24 in Atlanta, Ga., where the agency is headquartered. The purpose of the meeting is for EIS members to share their work in improving public health.
The event was “free and open to the public,” with the CDC noting in its post regarding the conference that it regularly drew “diverse attention each year from various public health sectors around the world.”
Just days after the conference, however, The Washington Post reported that several CDC staffers who attended the gathering had tested positive.
CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund confirmed to The Hill on Tuesday that about 35 people had tested positive as of May 2.
“CDC is working with the Georgia Department of Health to conduct a rapid epidemiological assessment of confirmed COVID-19 cases that appear to be connected to the 2023 EIS Conference to determine transmission patterns in this phase of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Nordlund said.
“Whenever there are large gatherings, especially indoors, such as at a conference, there is the possibility of COVID-19 spread, even in periods of low community spread,” she added.
According to CDC data, Fulton County where Atlanta is located is currently considered to have a low COVID-19 community level, along with nearly the rest of the U.S.