Was the Sundance Film Festival an Early Breeding Ground for Coronavirus?

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A number of people who attended the Sundance Film Festival have said they got sick during and after the event. Looking back, some wonder if it was COVID-19

About 120,000 people attended this year's festival, which opened during the last week of January. Days later, some attendees developed flu-like symptoms. They put it down to the cold weather, altitude and too many late night parties. It was even given a name — "Sundance Plague." 

But now they believe they may have been suffering from the coronavirus. The Hollywood Reporter revealed that a swath of attendees and at least one high-profile actor became sicker than ever before. The unidentified major star was "gravely ill," but has since recovered.

The first known case of coronavirus in the United States was confirmed two days before the festival opened, when few had heard of social distancing. The Sundance Festival said in a statement, "We are not aware of any confirmed festival-connected cases of COVID-19." 

Utah's state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said that it was "definitely possible that COVID-19 was circulating at Sundance." 


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