State Records Second Death Linked To Millinocket Wedding Outbreak
State health officials say the death of a man in his 70s in Somerset County is the second death associated with the COVID-19 outbreak at a Millinocket wedding.
Dr. Nirav Shah, the director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, confirmed the connection on Thursday.
To date, 144 cases of COVID-19 are associated with the Aug. 7 wedding and reception in Millinocket.
As of Thursday, there were 56 cases in Penobscot County among wedding guests and close contacts.
In Somerset County, there are 16 cases at the Maplecrest Rehabilitation Center in Madison. One of those cases was a staff member who attended the wedding.
In York County, there are now 72 cases among staff and inmates at the York County Jail. A staff member at the jail also attended the wedding.
The first death associated with the wedding was that of a woman in her 80s from Penobscot County. The woman did not attend the wedding but was a close contact of someone who did, state officials said.
No direct link yet has been made to another outbreak at the Calvary Baptist Church in Sanford, although Shah said it was a focus of an investigation.
The church’s pastor, Todd Bell, had officiated the wedding in Millinocket. As of Thursday, there have been 10 cases of COVID-19 at the church in Sanford. That's five additional cases since yesterday.
Shah said Thursday the state had sent a letter to Bell outlining the state guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of the disease and the state's "expectations of compliance."
State health officials are continuing their investigation into the outbreaks.