The wedding ceremony, which took place in early August, was attended by 65 people, who broke the official limit of 50 in a gathering.
Following a ceremony at the church, a reception was held at the Big Moose Inn – both locations near the picturesque town of Millinket, which has a population of just 4,000.
Ten days later, two dozen people related to the marriage tested positive for Kovid-19 and an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Maine.
The local director of the center, Nirav Shah, gave the latest toll for the event on Thursday, stating that none of the seven people who died had actually attended the wedding.
Contact-trainers linked the wedding to several virus hotspots across the state – including more than 80 cases in the 230-mile (370-kilometer) prison where one of the guards attended the ceremony.
Another 10 possible cases were found in a Baptist church in the same area, while 39 infections – and six deaths – occurred in a nursing home 100 miles from Millinket.
For the community and the wider sector, which had previously relaxed social-distancing rules in crisis, the news was a cruel wake-up call.
“When we heard about the outbreak … everyone really hunkered down,” said Cody McEwen, the head of the city council.
“As soon as the outbreak occurred, we closed the city again completely.”
– discrimination –
Some residents were clearly angry at the organizers of the event – starting with the inn, whose license was temporarily suspended.
Nina Obrissis, a member of the Baptist Church, said, “I don’t think they should have been married. I think they should have been limited”
“We can’t go anywhere or do anything,” she said.
Maine Governor Janet Mills issued a warning on Thursday to the state’s 1.3 million residents.
Such horrors “we threaten to reduce the gains made at the drop of a hat,” she said.
“Kovid-19 is not on the other side of the fence, it is in our yard.”
Since the onset of the epidemic earlier this year, similar superspreader incidents have been reported worldwide.
The first biotech conference was held in Boston in the United States, attended by about 175 people in February, and a funeral in Georgia where more than 100 people caught the virus.
In recent weeks, such groups of infections have been seen on university campuses, allowing students to be sent home.
More than 670 Kovid cases were confirmed in one month at the University of Vanata in northern New York State.
str-cat / la / jh / kaf
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