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Coronavirus loss of life toll linked to Maine marriage ceremony grows to 7

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PORTLAND, Maine — Not less than seven individuals have died in connection to a coronavirus outbreak that continues to sicken individuals in Maine following a marriage reception held over the summer time that violated state virus tips, public well being authorities mentioned.

The August marriage ceremony reception on the Massive Moose Inn in Millinocket is linked to greater than 175 confirmed instances of the virus, the Maine Heart for Illness Management and Prevention mentioned Tuesday.

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Maine authorities have recognized overlaps between the marriage reception and outbreaks elsewhere within the state. An worker of the York County Jail attended the marriage, Maine CDC officers have mentioned. Maine well being officers have additionally mentioned a workers member from a Madison rehabilitation middle, which is the positioning of six of the seven deaths, attended the occasion.

The virus instances stemming from the marriage have spanned lots of of miles in a state that had largely managed the unfold of the coronavirus by means of the summer time. Maine has reported lower than 5,000 instances of the virus in complete since March.

However the rising variety of instances associated to the marriage, which exceeded the state’s tips of 50 individuals or much less at indoor gatherings, might undo a few of that progress if it continues to swell. Authorities have mentioned greater than 65 individuals attended the marriage.

FILE - This Aug. 18, 2020, file photo shows the Big Moose Inn on Millinocket Lake in Millinocket, Maine. A COVID-19 outbreak connected to a wedding reception held at the inn in early August has led to more than 175 cases of the virus and at least five deaths.

FILE – This Aug. 18, 2020, file photograph exhibits the Massive Moose Inn on Millinocket Lake in Millinocket, Maine. A COVID-19 outbreak related to a marriage reception held on the inn in early August has led to greater than 175 instances of the virus and no less than 5 deaths. (Linda Coan O’Kresik/The Bangor Each day Information by way of AP, File)

The marriage was additionally officiated by pastor Todd Bell of Calvary Baptist Church in Sanford. The Maine CDC is at present investigating to find out if an outbreak on the church is related to the marriage outbreak.

Calvary Baptist Church issued a press release on Tuesday that mentioned “quite a lot of Calvary Baptist Church members attended” the marriage reception. The assertion mentioned the church is taking precautions to restrict the unfold of the virus, and it’ll defend its proper to proceed holding providers.

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“The Calvary Baptist Church has a authorized proper to satisfy. The authority of a neighborhood Christian church, a Jewish synagogue, or a Muslim mosque to assemble for his or her respective spiritual providers is a time-honored a part of our nation’s historical past since its inception,” the assertion mentioned. “These spiritual actions are additionally totally protected beneath the First Modification to our United States Structure.”

Bell has been crucial of presidency makes an attempt to manage coronavirus, and movies present he has held providers with out the usage of social distancing. He employed a lawyer recognized nationally for defending the spiritual rights of church buildings. Neither Bell nor Gibbs responded to a request Tuesday for remark.

Related Press author David Sharp contributed to this report.

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