A swingers convention in New Orleans held last month has now been identified as super spreader event of coronavirus, according to city officials, despite event organizers saying they took all required precautions.
Naughty N’awlins event organizer Bob Hannaford said in a blog post Friday he believed his team was hosting the “safest possible” event and that they went to "extraordinary measures" to try to ensure the safety of attendees. Hannaford said the team spoke to city and state officials as well as implemented a touchless check-in process and required all attendees to have their temperature checked, maintain social distancing, required masks in public, wristbands indicating COVID-19 status and sanitization. Hannaford said that 50% of attendees tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, suggesting they'd already had it.
Hannaford said attendees were encouraged to keep diaries of all interactions during the event.
“We have been very aggressive with contact tracing,” Hannaford said in his post. “During check-in, we issued diaries to everyone so it would be easier to track who they interacted with. We didn’t just mean sex, we strongly urged everyone to keep a diary for everyone that they were in contact with for more than 10 minutes, especially without a mask. The diaries really paid off and allowed us to reach out to more and more people that were documented in their diaries. The diaries were part of the advice given to us by this extraordinary expert doctor we have been consulting.”
In the week since the event, which saw between 250 300 attend, 41 tested positive for coronavirus.
CBS News reports that city officials said that the event was not permitted but did review safety protocols ahead of time.
"This is a very stark example of what happens when you don't obey the law," a spokesperson for the city said.
"Sometimes it is OK to admit that we do not have the answers. I don't have the answer now, and I didn't have the answer on November 11th, the day our event started," Hannaford wrote. "But I wouldn't do it again if I knew then what I know now. It weighs on me and it will continue to weigh on me until everyone is 100% better.”
The organizers are hoping to “have another big event until next August, providing a vaccine is available and we have turned the corner on this pandemic.”
Hannaford did not respond to Inside Edition Digital's request for comment.