At least 130 COVID-19 cases allowed entrance to festival: over 1000 attendees infected

A week before the Dutch government tightened measures again, 20,000 people attended the techno festival Verknipt on July 3 and 4. However, beats and good vibes weren’t the only things going around — 1,100 people returned home with coronavirus.

The high infection rate at the festival sparked a so-called source and contact investigation by GGD Utrecht reports

Not talk of a ‘superspreader’

The investigation revealed that the dramatic outburst of the virus after the festival wasn’t due to a ‘superspreader’ as first suspected. Instead, the GGD concluded that at least 130 people were probably already infected before attending Verknipt — and they somehow got in.

This result came about from research conducted amongst 400 of the infected attendees — of whom 34% had probably been infected before attending Verknipt.

The question then remains: How could 130 people attend a festival with access testing — while being positive for coronavirus?

Lax measures to blame

There are two answers to this. Firstly, 90% of the people investigated told GGD Utrecht that they’d attended other festivals before Verknipt and, most likely, that’s where they contracted the virus.

Secondly, the festival site used Testing for Access. Not only have there been problems with the early Testing for Access system but, at the time of Verknipt, test results were allowed to be up to 40 hours old.

As a result, there was a higher chance that people could contract the virus between testing and attending the festival. (Shortly after the festival, this was reduced to 24 hours).

People could also attend the festival without a test as long as they’d been vaccinated. However, “fully vaccinated” at the time of Verknipt meant the second you’d received your second jab (or first with Jannsen) — no two week waiting period necessary. This likely contributed to the number of infected attendees.

Thankfully, the investigation by GGD Utrecht didn’t show any signs of large-scale fraud with the QR codes generated in the CoronaCheck app.

Did you get to attend any festivals before measures tightened in the Netherlands? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: monkeybusiness/Depositphotos

Christine Stein Hededam 🇩🇰
Christine Stein Hededam 🇩🇰
A Dane with a special place in her heart for Minnesota, Christine is now falling in love with everything Dutch. Between finishing her bachelor’s degree, learning Dutch, and doing yoga teacher training, you will find her wandering about the Hague. Always up for visiting new places, she loves to explore the Netherlands with friends and takes pride in scoping out cute cafés (wherein to discuss books, big plans, and food).


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