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Coronavirus outbreak detected in Waldo County church

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention found a coronavirus outbreak at a Waldo County church, possibly linked to a “brotherhood rally” the congregation held between October 2 and 4.

Brooks Pentecostal Church, in Brooks, Maine, has at least 17 cases of COVID-19 among its faithful, the health agency said Saturday night.

Contact tracing is ongoing, and the Maine CDC has asked potential contacts of infected people to cooperate.

“Close contacts can help limit the potential spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 by answering calls, providing complete information and quarantining when advised,”

; the agency said in a news release Saturday.

The CDC advises anyone who has spent time in church or its affiliated school since October 2 to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, and muscle aches, among others.

Anyone who attended a fellowship gathering that the congregation hosted between October 2 and 4 may have been exposed to the virus and should take precautions, the CDC said.

Some of the church’s cases were accounted for in new cases reported Saturday, the agency said, but not all. The CDC’s statewide case count on Sunday may also include some from Brooks Pentecostal.

On Sunday morning, the church’s website and social media pages showed no information on the outbreak. Video reports posted on Facebook indicate that the church has been conducting the worship in person since at least September, when a video showed the faithful gathering close together among the pews, without masks.

A video released on October 4 appears to show such a close, maskless encounter.

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