Maine inn linked to wedding COVID-19 outbreak has license reinstated, 123 cases linked to outbreak


Maine inn linked to wedding COVID-19 outbreak has license reinstated, 123 cases linked to outbreak

The Maine inn at the center of an outbreak of COVID-19 has had its business license reinstated by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Officials said the Big Moose Inn exceeded the indoor gathering limit of 50 people for a wedding reception on Aug. 7. The inn was initially cited, and its license was then suspended Wednesday after a follow-up visit where further violations of public health guidelines were discovered, officials said.The license suspension said the follow-up visit showed that dining room tables were not spaced to be 6 feet apart, employees were not wearing face coverings and there was no social distancing.State officials said they worked with the inn to bring them into compliance with regulations. Officials said the inn signed a form stating their commitment to compliance with state regulations.The Maine CDC said it will closely monitor the inn to ensure continued compliance.HEALTH INSPECTION REPORTA health inspection report issued on Aug. 19 and released on Friday offered more details on the wedding event.According to the report, the state’s Health Inspection Program was notified on Aug. 17 that 24 out of 65 people who attended the wedding reception had tested positive for coronavirus.Inspectors visited the inn and learned that temperatures of all the wedding guests were taken before entering the facility and all temperatures were normal.Staff were wearing masks for the event, but guests did not wear masks and it was not enforced by staff. There were signs requesting guests to wear face coverings.Social distancing was not maintained by guests on an upper deck. The report found people at the bar socially distanced and tables were spaced 6 feet apart.The report found tables on an enclosed porch, an event room and an open upper deck were not spaced 6 feet apart.The report also found that the number of wedding guests, along with other people at the inn totaled 104 to 109 people, which exceeded the 80-person seating limit on the business’ license.Contact tracing information was not taken for the wedding reception because the bride had a guest list.The report said certificates of compliance and negative COVID-19 tests from visitors from states subject to Maine’s quarantine or testing requirements were available.CONNECTED OUTBREAKSThe outbreak at the inn is linked to outbreaks at the Maplecrest Rehabilitation Center in Madison and the York County Jail.York County Sheriff William King said Friday there are 54 cases associated with the jail. Sixteen involve corrections officers, 35 involve inmates, 2 involve workers at the government support building and there is one case involving a DHHS support staffer assigned to the jail.Officials said a worker at the jail attended the wedding reception.There were nine cases at Maplecrest as of Friday, according to DHHS. The number of cases linked to the Millinocket outbreak now stands at 123, which includes the York County Jail and Maplecrest cases, officials said. Because of the outbreak, East Millinocket schools are delaying the state of the school year by two weeks.Officials said two students and six school department employees, including the superintendent, have tested positive for the virus.Officials said a school staff member was hired as a musician at the wedding reception at the Big Moose Inn. Other staff also attended the wedding.All of the people who tested positive for the virus are now quarantining.The investigation into the outbreak continues.

The Maine inn at the center of an outbreak of COVID-19 has had its business license reinstated by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Officials said the Big Moose Inn exceeded the indoor gathering limit of 50 people for a wedding reception on Aug. 7.

The inn was initially cited, and its license was then suspended Wednesday after a follow-up visit where further violations of public health guidelines were discovered, officials said.

The license suspension said the follow-up visit showed that dining room tables were not spaced to be 6 feet apart, employees were not wearing face coverings and there was no social distancing.

State officials said they worked with the inn to bring them into compliance with regulations. Officials said the inn signed a form stating their commitment to compliance with state regulations.

The Maine CDC said it will closely monitor the inn to ensure continued compliance.

HEALTH INSPECTION REPORT

A health inspection report issued on Aug. 19 and released on Friday offered more details on the wedding event.

According to the report, the state’s Health Inspection Program was notified on Aug. 17 that 24 out of 65 people who attended the wedding reception had tested positive for coronavirus.

Inspectors visited the inn and learned that temperatures of all the wedding guests were taken before entering the facility and all temperatures were normal.

Staff were wearing masks for the event, but guests did not wear masks and it was not enforced by staff. There were signs requesting guests to wear face coverings.

Social distancing was not maintained by guests on an upper deck. The report found people at the bar socially distanced and tables were spaced 6 feet apart.

The report found tables on an enclosed porch, an event room and an open upper deck were not spaced 6 feet apart.

The report also found that the number of wedding guests, along with other people at the inn totaled 104 to 109 people, which exceeded the 80-person seating limit on the business’ license.

Contact tracing information was not taken for the wedding reception because the bride had a guest list.

The report said certificates of compliance and negative COVID-19 tests from visitors from states subject to Maine’s quarantine or testing requirements were available.

CONNECTED OUTBREAKS

The outbreak at the inn is linked to outbreaks at the Maplecrest Rehabilitation Center in Madison and the York County Jail.

York County Sheriff William King said Friday there are 54 cases associated with the jail. Sixteen involve corrections officers, 35 involve inmates, 2 involve workers at the government support building and there is one case involving a DHHS support staffer assigned to the jail.

Officials said a worker at the jail attended the wedding reception.

There were nine cases at Maplecrest as of Friday, according to DHHS.

The number of cases linked to the Millinocket outbreak now stands at 123, which includes the York County Jail and Maplecrest cases, officials said.

Because of the outbreak, East Millinocket schools are delaying the state of the school year by two weeks.

Officials said two students and six school department employees, including the superintendent, have tested positive for the virus.

Officials said a school staff member was hired as a musician at the wedding reception at the Big Moose Inn. Other staff also attended the wedding.

All of the people who tested positive for the virus are now quarantining.

The investigation into the outbreak continues.


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