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One person dead after wedding reception in Maine linked to COVID-19 outbreak

One of 53 coronavirus patients associated with a wedding reception in Maine has died, officials announced Friday. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) is still investigating the incident, which is Maine's first outbreak directly linked to a social gathering. 

The person, whose name was not released, was recently admitted to the Millinocket Regional Hospital (MRH) following the August 7 wedding reception. Hospital officials said she died early Friday afternoon. 

"Our hearts go out to everyone in our community who is affected by this loss," the hospital wrote on Facebook on Friday.

"Maine CDC expresses condolences to the individual's family and loved ones," officials said Saturday. 

Reopened schools see coronavirus outbreaks as videos emerge of student gatherings 02:55

The Maine CDC reported Saturday that 41 coronavirus-positive individuals were linked to the wedding, with an additional 12 individuals presumed positive. The hospital said it has tested 366 people in connection with the party. Results for 103 people are pending. 

Investigators said Saturday that they have identified secondary and tertiary transmission of the virus, meaning it spread to people who were not present at the wedding "but had close contact with individuals who were present at the event (secondary cases) and close contacts of the secondary cases (tertiary cases)."

The ages of the coronavirus cases range from 4 to 98 years old, officials said. Some 83% of patients reported experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

In total, about 65 people attended the indoor event at the Big Moose Inn in Millinocket earlier this month, officials said. They emphasized the importance of avoiding social gatherings, especially ones that are indoors. 

The governor's executive orders currently limit indoor gatherings to 50 people if there's adequate space, while 100 people are allowed at outdoor events. Attendees are required to follow social distancing guidelines and wear masks at such events.

The Maine CDC is communicating with Big Moose Inn about the nature of the event and adherence to state requirements. 

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