147 COVID-19 Infections, 3 Deaths, and Jail Outbreak Linked to Wedding Reception

A wedding reception held in Maine on August 7 is now blamed for 147 COVID-19 infections, three coronavirus deaths, and outbreaks of the pandemic at a jail and a nursing home, CNN writes. A spokesman for the Maine CDC, Robert Long, said the wedding reception held at Big Moose Inn in Millinocket, and the health impacts are being felt hundreds of miles away with people getting infected and dying of the coronavirus traced to the venue.

A total of 65 guests attended the reception in clear violation of Maine’s regulation which stipulates a maximum of 50 people for social gatherings. The management of the inn said they misinterpreted the rule of the state, saying they thought they could admit more than 50 guests and then split them into rooms where they must not exceed 50. Maine CDC has threatened to cite them for health hazards in the light of the violation.

“We understood that there could be no more than 50 persons in our largest room. We did make an error in the interpretation of that rule,” Big Moose Inn said. “Our interpretation was that we could take a wedding party of more than 50 persons, and split them between two rooms as long as it didn’t exceed our total capacity or a specific room’s capacity.”

Out of the 65 guests that attended the party, 56 COVID-19 cases have been reported among the guests and people they later came into contact with.

However, health officials in Maine are finding it difficult to determine how coronavirus infection jumped from the wedding reception venue to the Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center which is over 100 miles away in Madison and the York County Jail which is over 220 miles away in Alfred, Business Insider wrote.

According to officials, 46 inmates at the jail and 19 employees, as well as seven family members of the stated employees, are now infected with COVID-19. At the Maplecrest rehabilitation center, a total of 17 people are positive with the disease.

“What we are dealing with is a giant tube of glitter,” said Maine CDC Director, Dr. Nirav Shah. “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. 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. It’s just emblematic of how quickly, silently, and efficiently it can spread.”

Source: cnn.com