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April 18, 2021 48 min

The Skagit Valley choir last sang together on the evening of March 10, 2020. This rehearsal, it would turn out, was one of the first documented superspreader events of the pandemic. Of the 61 choristers who attended practice that night, 53 developed coronavirus symptoms. Two later died.

The event served as an example to other choirs of the dangers of coming together in the pandemic. It also provided crucial evidence for scientists seeking to understand how the coronavirus was being transmitted.

Today, a look at the Skagit Valley case and the choir’s road to singing together once again.

This story was written and narrated by Kim Tingley. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.

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