KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – A 55-person wedding in Maine led to a COVID-19 outbreak that killed 7 and left 177 people infected, officials said.
According to the CDC, one guest who attended the wedding reported COVID-19 symptoms one day after the event. Officials said 27 of the 55 attendees were then diagnosed with the virus.
Three staff members who worked at the wedding venue also tested positive. The index, or first case, is thought to be a person who attended the wedding on August 7th, before reporting symptoms the next day, CDC officials said.
At the time of the wedding, Maine had a limit of 50 people for events. The 55 guests in attendance reportedly did not wear masks or follow social distancing rules. Officials said temperature checks were performed on all guests before they entered the venue.
The CDC reported one of the wedding guests visited their parents just days following the wedding. The parent, who worked at a long-term care facility, began showing symptoms days later. The person reportedly worked for two more days before being tested.
A COVID-19 outbreak of at least 38 individuals was reported at the long-term care facility, the CDC reported.
A separate guest, who worked at a correctional facility, began showing symptoms a week after the wedding. Despite showing symptoms, the individual continued to work leading to 18 staff members and 48 inmates testing positive for the virus. The CDC said 16 additional household contacts of staff members were also infected.
As a result, the CDC concluded 177 people were infected and seven died as a result of the outbreak started at the wedding.
Officials said a guest list from the wedding was not made available to authorities who worked to trace the outbreak. According to the CDC, officials “likely undercounted cases of illness that were linked to the event, and the attack rate for the reception guests is thus a conservative estimate.”
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