The line for Comiket 99 (photo: Daryl Harding)
Comiket last night revealed the findings of the investigation that event took, along with health authorities, after it was found that two staffers had come down with COVID-19 after the event, finding that the pair didn’t catch the virus at the event, nor were infectious during the second day–which contradicts what was previously reported by the Comic Market Preparatory Committee.
It was previously reported that the pair had worked at Comiket on December 30, the first day of the event, and then on January 2 and 3 had come down with symptoms of COVID. The duo then took a PCR test on January 4 and the next day it was confirmed that the two of them had COVID-19. The two shared a hotel room with another staff member during the event.
The investigation found that during the set-up, pack-up, and on December 30 that the staff members had not come in close contact with any other members of the Comic Market Preparatory Committee, nor any attendees, except the other staff member the pair shared a hotel with on the night of December 29, who had returned a negative PCR test. It was found that the trio of staff members and three others went drinking on the same night.
The Preparatory Committee also discovered that the pair and four others also went out for drinks on the night of December 31, the second day of Comiket. Three attended Comiket on the second day alongside the two staff members who were general attendees, and one never went to the event at all. They all came back with positive PCR tests, with only one of the attendees being asymptomatic, while the rest contracting a fever.
Health authorities and the Preparatory Committee concluded that the spreader event happened on the night of December 31, after the event had occurred. There have been no other reports to Comiket or health authorities about positive COVID-19 results in relation to the event, and with it being more than two weeks since the event, it’s likely that there was no COVID-19 spread at the event at all.
The Preparatory Committee reaffirmed that it had explicitly asked both attendees and staff members to refrain from social gatherings during the period that the event was on. The Committee apologized for the actions of its staff members and stated that they will do their best to see that this situation doesn’t occur in the future.
Comiket 99 occurred on December 30 and 31, 2021, and was the first in-person event since December 2019, with 55,000 attendees on each day. Learn more about how Comiket was in our event report.
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.