The coronavirus death toll linked to an August indoor wedding in Maine reached at least seven, state officials said Tuesday.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the wedding and reception at Millinocket are now linked to 176 confirmed cases of COVID-19, agency spokesman Robert Long said in a statement.
Maine public health officials tracked outbreaks in the state all the way to marriage, including in York County Jail and a Madison rehabilitation center, after one staff member from each attended the wedding.
A total of 80 cases were confirmed in the York County Jail building. Thirty-nine people tested positive at Madison̵
Six of the seven documented marriage-related deaths occurred at the rehabilitation center. None of the seven people who died attended the wedding or reception, Long said.
The August 7 wedding hosted around 65 people inside, albeit the governor. Janet MillsJanet Mills143 coronavirus cases, one death, prison outbreak now linked to marriage in Maine The number of marriage-related coronavirus cases in Maine rises to 123 24 people contract COVID-19 after marriage in Maine MORE (D) had ordered a limit of 50 people for indoor meetings due to the pandemic. The wedding was held at the Tri Town Baptist Church and the reception at the Big Moose Inn Cabins and Campground.
State officials are investigating whether the company violated coronavirus orders by hosting the wedding.
Public health officials traced the cases back to the August marriage. First found 24 cases by mid-August. By the end of the month, 123 cases had been linked to the event, and since 3 September the number had reached 143.
Officials previously reported that a woman who did not attend the wedding died in August after contracting COVID-19 from an attendee.
Laurie Cormier, the owner of the Big Moose Inn, released a statement last month stating that the staff “heart goes out to the family, to those affected by the virus who were at the wedding and to those who have been affected since.” according to WAGM.
Maine officials have tracked the spread of the virus from marriage for hundreds of miles across the state and fear it may undo the state’s progress in fighting the coronavirus. The Associated Press noted.
The state he confirmed 4,415 COVID-19 cases and 137 deaths since the start of the pandemic. The New York Times classifies Maine as a state where new cases are “lower but increasing”. The state has a seven-day average of 29 new cases per day.
State officials are looking into whether an outbreak at Stanford’s Calvary Baptist Church is linked to the wedding, after Pastor Todd Bell officiated at the wedding.
The church released a statement obtained by the AP on Tuesday stating that “a number of Calvary Baptist Church members attended” the wedding, but added that the church was working to prevent the spread of the coronavirus during its services.
“Calvary Baptist Church has the legal right to assemble. The authority of a local Christian church, a Jewish synagogue or a Muslim mosque to meet for their respective religious services is a time-honored part of our nation’s history since its inception, “the statement reads.” These activities women religious are also fully protected by the First Amendment to our US Constitution. “