News & Opinion | July 1, 2020 10:05 am

DC Socialite Tested Positive for COVID-19 After Hosting Backyard Party

Ashley Taylor Bronczek hosted a dinner party after the Washington Ballet's online fundraiser last month

outdoor dinner party
The outdoor dinner party has been described as "well-intentioned"
Getty Images/EyeEm

A Washington DC social star has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 after hosting a backyard soiree following the Washington Ballet’s online fundraiser last month, the Washington Post reported.

Ashley Taylor Bronczek, a co-chair of the fundraiser, celebrated the successful June 18 event by hosting a catered dinner for “a couple dozen friends” outside her lavish home, according to the Post. While the private party, of which the Washington Ballet was aware but not affiliated, was in violation of DC’s Phase 1 guidelines restricting gatherings to groups of ten or fewer, it was described as “well-intentioned” by photographer Tony Powell, who shot the party for Washington Life magazine.

“I did notice there was a lot more space between people,” said Powell. “They were not as close as they normally are.”

But however well-intentioned and socially distanced, the event may have been a mistake. Bronczek later tested positive for COVID-19 after reportedly beginning to show symptoms “within hours” of the dinner, as did some of her guests, according to the Post.

Moreover, in a move that seems to have only made matters worse, Bronczek apparently took her time disclosing her COVID-19 status to her guests, reportedly “fearful of the social fallout.”

Unfortunately, the delay doesn’t seem to have helped her case. “Everyone’s angry,” one anonymous neighborhood mother who reportedly moves in the same elite social circles as Bronczek told the Post. “Everyone’s trying to figure out who has it.”

Photos of the afterparty have since been removed from Bronczek’s Instagram, and Powell told the Post guests have asked him to take down his photos of the event as well.

Subscribe here for our free daily newsletter.