According to Kayla Schott-Bresler of Skagit County Public Health, of the approximately 60 people who attended the Skagit Valley Choir rehearsal in Mount Vernon, 28 members confirmed cases of the virus.
The practice was fully in line with state guidelines at the time, the group said in a statement.
“Realize that this was an extremely difficult and sad time for the choir members and the leaders,” said the group. “Our group feels like family, so you could imagine our grief. “
There were no known cases of coronavirus on the day of the rehearsal, the group said.
“There have been no closings of schools, restaurants, churches, bowling alleys, banks, libraries, theaters or any other business,” the statement said. “The Washington State council was to limit gatherings to 250 people. “
The choir’s board of directors told the members not to come if they showed signs of illness or if they thought “their health or safety was in danger”.
A member told CNN KIRO affiliate that no one appeared to be sick.
“Throughout the rehearsal, nobody sneezed, nobody coughed, nobody seemed to be sick in any way,” Carolynn Comstock told KIRO.
“So now we know, oh hm, maybe it’s transmitted not only by droplets and sneezing or coughing; maybe it’s only transmitted by people who are talking, just by people who are around each other, “said Comstock. “And then of course, if you sing, there is more volume to speak, deep breathing and more volume. “
The choir said he was sharing his story “so that he can personalize this virus for others. Our hope is to encourage everyone to stay home and stay safe. “