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Wedding Reception Leads to 147 Infections, 3 Deaths

The CDC says it is still tracing cases to the Maine event
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2020 1:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – A wedding reception in Maine has apparently triggered at least 147 cases of COVID-19, including three deaths—a spreading of the virus that one health official likens to "a giant tube of glitter." The CDC says the August 7 event in Millinocket spread the disease to a prison and a nursing home that are each more than 100 miles away, CNN reports. "What we are dealing with is a giant tube of glitter. You open a tube of glitter in your basement then two weeks later you are in the attic and all you find is glitter and have no idea how it got there," says Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah. "That's what Covid-19 is like. You open up glitter in Millinocket and next thing you know you are finding traces of it at a jail complex in York County."

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CBS News reports that 56 of the infections are among reception guests or their immediate or tertiary contacts. One guest who works at York County Jail sparked an infection there that's risen to 72 cases, including 19 staff and 46 inmates. Another guest's family member works at Maplecrest Rehabilitation Center in Somerset County, which led to at least 19 infections at the nursing home. NBC News reports that Calvary Baptist Church has 10 infections; the church's pastor officiated the wedding. The reception at the Big Moose Inn was attended by 65 people in all, which exceeded the state's indoor limit by 15. "Outbreaks are not isolated events," says Shah. "One outbreak can quickly lead to several more outbreaks, especially in a close geographic area." (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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