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Officiant of Maine wedding linked to 7 virus deaths says he's been "reviled"


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the Big Moose Inn


Maine
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Millinocket
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around York County
East Millinocket
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Positivity     32.00%   
   Negativity   68.00%
The New York Times
SOURCE: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-maine-wedding-7-deaths-officiant-todd-bell/
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Summary

But it has spread misery ever since.That single event on Aug. 7 is linked to coronavirus outbreaks in at least two other locations in Maine, with more than 170 people contracting the virus and seven deaths since.The officiant at the wedding, the Rev. Todd Bell of Calvary Baptist Church in Sanford, joined several members of his congregation. Prior to the wedding, the community had no cases of the coronavirus.It unfolded on a sunny day in August with a wedding at the Tri Town Baptist Church in East Millinocket and a reception at the Big Moose Inn in Millinocket, population 4,400.There were 65 guests at the Big Moose Inn -- violating the state's 50-person limit for indoor events -- and many attendees didn't wear masks or socially distance from each other, state officials said. In this case, we don't have control over the virus but this pastor absolutely had the choice whether to perform the wedding," said the Rev. Erika Hewitt, a Unitarian Universalist in Bath.Already struggling, Maine's summer wedding industry tightened rules, forcing people to pare down guest lists, or cancel events altogether.In Belfast, Thomas Roberts nearly blew a gasket when the Boathouse notified his daughter the venue might cancel her wedding."We have people already paid for travel arrangements, airline arrangements, rooms, and COVID-19 testing before traveling.

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