Six people in South Carolina have died from coronavirus after attending the same funeral.
Before restrictions on mass gatherings were issued, one person who unknowingly had the virus attended a funeral in Kershaw County in South Carolina, US, in the first week of March – and spread the disease among the large congregation.
All six of the deceased were over the age of 60, officials said.
Robbie Baker, the coroner for Sumter County in South Carolina, where four of the deceased lived, said that they all likely contracted the virus at the funeral held in neighbouring Kershaw County during the first week of March.
“Unfortunately, a large number of people congregated at that funeral, somebody there was infected with it, spread it, and just didn’t know it,” Baker said.
They came back to Sumter, got sick, and he was notified they had died, he explained to the state.
The other two deceased were a couple from Kershaw County who had been married for more than five decades. The couple died in hospital just days apart.
Many others who attended that funeral have since been in self-quarantine.
South Carolina has reported 3 931 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 109 deaths – with the case numbers doubling in the past two weeks alone.