United States: A wedding in rural Maine, the United States, proved to a COVID-19 “superspreader”. The wedding left seven people dead and 177 infected.
The wedding which was in early August was attended by 65 people, despite permission for 50 only.
The wedding ceremony was at a church, which was further followed by a reception at the Big Moose Inn – both venues near the picturesque town of Millinocket, whose population numbers just 4,000.
Ten days later, two dozen people associated with the wedding had tested positive for COVID-19 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Maine opened an investigation.
The center’s local director Nirav Shah on Thursday gave the latest toll for the event, adding that none of the seven people who died had actually attended the wedding.
Contact-tracers linked the wedding to several virus hotspots across the state – including more than 80 cases in a prison 230 miles (370 kilometres) away, where one of the guards had attended the ceremony.
Another 10 probable cases were found in a Baptist church in the same area, while 39 infections – and six of the deaths – were at a nursing home 100 miles from Millinocket.
For the community and wider region, which had relaxed physical distancing rules introduced earlier in the crisis, the news was a brutal wake-up call.