There were 65 people in attendance, a violation of the state’s indoor gathering limit of 50 people.

By Julie Mazziotta
August 25, 2020
Wedding chairs

A wedding in Millinocket, Maine, that violated the state’s limit on indoor gathering size is now linked to 53 cases of COVID-19 and one death, state health authorities said.

The wedding, held Aug. 7 at Big Moose Inn, had 65 attendees, which is above the state’s limit of 50. COVID-19 spread among the guests — and later, among others who did not attend the wedding.

The Maine Center for Disease Control initially reported on Aug. 17 that the wedding had led to 24 infections. On Saturday, the CDC said that the number of infections was now up to 53, with 30 cases in people who attended the wedding, 13 secondary cases and 10 tertiary cases, meaning people who were close contacts of secondary cases. The infected people range in age from 4 to 98.

On Friday, a woman who was not at the wedding but was infected by someone who had attended died from the virus, health authorities said, according to the Portland Press Herald.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with her family as they cope with this difficult loss,” the head of Millinocket Regional Hospital, where she was treated, said in a press release shared on Facebook.

Millinocket, Maine
Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty

The Maine CDC cited Big Moose Inn for an “imminent health hazard” and is investigating further to see if guests were wearing masks, as well as whether Big Moose Inn required them as mandated by the state’s COVID-19 regulations.

There is no financial penalty for the citation, but there may be if the Maine CDC discovers further violations.

The health agency warned against holding weddings during the pandemic.

“Social gatherings such as weddings and receptions pose an elevated risk for virus transmission. The possibility of COVID-19 transmission increases as the number of attendees increases, even when some attendees are indoors and others are outdoors,” they said.

As of Tuesday, at least 4,356 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Maine and 131 people have died. In the U.S., more than 5,754,100 have been infected with the virus and at least 177,198 people have died.

The information in this story is accurate as of press time. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, it's possible that some data have changed since publication. While Health is trying to keep our stories as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations for their own communities by using the CDCWHO, and their local public health department as resources.

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