Multiple COVID-19 Outbreaks Linked to a Wedding Reception in Rural Maine

August 7-September 14, 2020

Parag Mahale, MBBS, PhD; Craig Rothfuss, MPA, MPH; Sarah Bly; Megan Kelley; Siiri Bennett, MD; Sara L. Huston, PhD; Sara Robinson, MPH

Disclosures

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2020;69(45):1686-1690. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Introduction

Large indoor gatherings pose a high risk for transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and have the potential to be super-spreading events.[1,2] Such events are associated with explosive growth, followed by sustained transmission.[3] During August 7–September 14, 2020, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (MeCDC) investigated a COVID-19 outbreak linked to a wedding reception attended by 55 persons in a rural Maine town. In addition to the community outbreak, secondary and tertiary transmission led to outbreaks at a long-term care facility 100 miles away and at a correctional facility approximately 200 miles away. Overall, 177 COVID-19 cases were epidemiologically linked to the event, including seven hospitalizations and seven deaths (four in hospitalized persons). Investigation revealed noncompliance with CDC's recommended mitigation measures. To reduce transmission, persons should avoid large gatherings, practice physical distancing, wear masks, stay home when ill, and self-quarantine after exposure to a person with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Persons can work with local health officials to increase COVID-19 awareness and determine the best policies for organizing social events to prevent outbreaks in their communities.

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