Maine health officials revealed that five deaths and 161 COVID-19 cases are now linked to an outbreak that happened last month at a local wedding.
The unsettling uptick came after the outbreak was reported in three separate towns, and an epidemiological investigation was launched at the church of the wedding's officiating pastor.
The outbreak began on August 7 when people attended the indoor wedding and reception in the small town of Millinocket, according to Mine Center for Disease Control spokesman Robert Long.
The official ceremony took place at Tri-Town Baptist Church and around 65 people attended the reception at Big Moose Inn. The state's limit on social gatherings is 50 people.
The venue owner has since admitted that they misunderstood local capacity rules and overbooked the event, but by then the outbreak had already begun.
Outbreaks linked to a wedding held at Big Moose Inn last month in Millinocket, Maine, have resulted in five deaths and 161 confirmed COVID-19 cases
The MCDC on Sunday reported that the number of deaths rose to five after three were initially reported by September 1.
Of those five deaths, Bangor Daily reported that four of them happened at Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center in the small town of Madison.
At least 28 people at the facility -13 residents and 15 employees - have been infected with the virus after a staff member contracted it.
The staffer had contracted it from a parent, who was infected by a child who attended the wedding.
Health officials over the weekend announced the death of two Somerset County women in their 80s due to COVID-19 complications. A Maine CDC representative declined to confirm if those women were residents of the facility.
Four of the five COVID-19 deaths linked to the August wedding happened at Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center in Madison, Maine (pictured)
Officials said Theresa Detremont (pictured) did not attend the Millinocket wedding before she was infected
One of the five victims included Theresa Dentremont, an 83-year-old woman who died at Millinocket Regional Hospital on August 21 after contracting the virus.
Detremont did not attend the wedding, but hospital staff believed she may have been infected by someone who did.
The couple had been self-isolating at their home for much of the pandemic given they fell into the high-risk COVID-19 category.
Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center was one of two confirmed sites tied to the initial COVID-19 outbreak.
Nearly 130 miles south, the York County Jail in Alfred reported an virus outbreak in August.
At the moment, 48 inmates, 18 jail staffers and 17 household members of those staffers have been infected. No deaths have been linked to this outbreak.
Health officials said 48 inmates at York County Jail, 18 staffers and 17 household members of those staffers were infected by the outbreak (pictured)
Pictured: a map shows the locations of the outbreaks in Maine
Maine health officials confirmed that there are now 161 cases connected to the outbreak - a boost from 147 two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Pastor Todd Bell, who runs his Calvary Baptist Church 225 miles away in Sanford, has continued to hold in-person services despite the mounting outbreak.
The pastor's staunch defiance of pandemic precautions has led some local organizations to suspend collaboration with the church's outreach programs.
Bell addressed the controversy in his sermon on Sunday, urging congregants to ignore critics and listen to him instead.