Maine Wedding Reception Linked To 7 Deaths Of People Who Didn't Attend

A coronavirus outbreak linked to a wedding in Maine in early August has resulted in at least seven deaths and 176 infections. Officials said that 65 people attended the wedding, which made it an illegal gathering of more than 50 people. None of the guests at the wedding died, and most of the people who were infected had only secondary or tertiary contact with guests.

After the wedding, the virus spread far and wide, causing outbreaks at a jail and a nursing home, which are both more than 100 miles away from the wedding venue. Six of the seven deaths were reported at Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center, which accounted for 39 cases that were linked back to the wedding. An employee who works at York County Jail attended the wedding, resulting in at least 72 coronavirus infections in the prison complex.

Officials are also investigating if the wedding service was tied to an outbreak at Calvary Baptist Church, whose pastor officiated at the wedding at a different church. There have been ten cases reported at the church, but contact tracers have yet to determine if they were linked to the wedding.

"The virus favors gatherings," Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav D. Shah said. "It does not distinguish between happy events like a wedding celebration, or sad farewells, like a funeral."

There have been fewer than 5,000 cases of COVID-19 in Maine, and officials want to keep their infection numbers low.

"Maine CDC is concerned about where we are, and I'm asking everyone else to share in that concern. COVID-19, right now, is not on the other side of the fence. It is in our yards," Shah said. "The gains that Maine has made against COVID-19 are ones that could, and unfortunately, can be washed away."

Photo: Getty Images

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