San Gennaro begins in NYC as post-Electric Zoo COVID cluster renews concern

Coronavirus update for NYC
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- There are renewed concerns about the spread of coronavirus at mass gatherings in New York City, as the Department of Health investigates a cluster of COVID-19 cases after a large music festival and amid the return of the popular Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy.

The health department investigation is focusing on more than a dozen COVID cases following the Electric Zoo Music Festival on Randalls Island.

Before the pandemic, the Labor Day weekend festival drew more than 100,000 people. This year, attendees had to be fully vaccinated.

Still, the health department says the case count is now up to 16, so they are asking anyone who attended to get tested.

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"If you are someone who was at the festival, even if only for one day or one event during the three days of the festival, we do encourage you to get tested," Health Commissioner Dr. David Chokshi said. "That recommendation stands regardless of your vaccination status, but it is particularly important if you have had symptoms recently. We encourage you to get tested."

Electric Zoo ran from September 3-5.

New Yorkers can click here to find a COVID-19 testing location.

Those who attended the festival but live outside of New York City should visit the local health department's website to find a testing option.

Officials say eight of the attendees may have been contagious at the time, which is why getting vaccinated is so critical.

"The Test & Trace Corps is working hard on these cases, interviewing people who are from New York City and figuring out what their contacts are," said Dr. Mitchell Katz, head of NYC Health + Hospitals. "This is one of our most effective ways of preventing further transmission of COVID."

The vaccine is also why the Feast of San Gennaro is returning to Little Italy Thursday night.

The popular outdoor event, which runs through September 26, offers some of the best Italian food in the city.

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Businesses that were decimated during the pandemic are looking forward to finally being able to welcome crowds.

Health officials, though, will be keeping a close eye on case counts following the event.

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