147 COVID-19 cases and 3 deaths now linked to indoor wedding reception in Maine

147 COVID-19 cases and 3 deaths now linked to indoor wedding reception in Maine
147 COVID-19 cases and 3 deaths now linked to indoor wedding reception in Maine(CBS News)
Updated: Sep. 5, 2020 at 6:23 PM EDT
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(CBS News) - A third coronavirus death has been linked to an indoor wedding and reception in Maine, according to the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The department has also connected at least 147 COVID-19 cases to the August 7 wedding, which has been linked to virus outbreaks at a jail and a nursing home.

Fifty-six of the cases are among wedding guests and their secondary or tertiary contacts, the Maine CDC told CBS News on Saturday.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah confirmed that a man in his 70s from Somerset County died of the virus this week, following one death at Millinocket Regional Hospital last month. Officials did not provide details on the third death.

The number of cases at York County Jail in Alfred has risen to at least 72 cases — 46 inmates, 19 staff and seven family members, Shah said Thursday. The outbreak originated from one staff member who attended the wedding, and Shah said the jail is now enforcing the use of face masks.

Officials reported eight new cases among inmates in an area of the jail where there had not previously been cases. Maine CDC is closely monitoring the situation.

A family member of a wedding guest who works at Maplecrest Rehabilitation Center tested positive, leading to a total of 19 cases at the nursing home as of Saturday— up from 16 on Thursday.

Maplecrest is located in Somerset County, but officials did not confirm whether the man in his 70s who died was a resident, “for reasons of patient privacy,” Shah said on Thursday.

North Country Associates, which owns Maplecrest, did not immediately respond to CBS News’ request for comment on Saturday.

“No outbreak is an island,” Shah said. “Outbreaks are not isolated events. One outbreak can quickly lead to several more outbreaks, especially in a close geographic area.”

Sixty-five people attended the wedding on August 7, exceeding the state’s 50-person gathering limit.

After failing to implement social distancing guidelines, limit the size of gatherings and ask customers for contact tracing information, Big Moose Inn had its lodging and dining license temporarily suspended. It was re-instated last week, Maine CDC confirmed.