(Reuters) - Seven deaths related to COVID-19 have been tied to an Aug. 7 wedding and celebration that took place in the vacation town of Millinocket in central Maine, local media reported on Tuesday.
The state previously linked five deaths to the super-spreading event, with a sixth reported on Tuesday and a seventh expected to be included in the official case count on Wednesday, the Portland Press Herald reported.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said all of the deaths were linked to secondary spread of the disease and six of them occurred at Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center, a nursing home in Madison, roughly 100 miles southwest of heavily forested Millinocket.
"None of those individuals attended the wedding or the reception itself," Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine's CDC director, said.
Outbreaks traced to the wedding have now infected 176 people statewide, including some sickened at the York County Jail in Alfred, about 220 miles southwest of Millinocket, the Press Herald reported.
"The trends we've seen over the last two weeks tell us things are getting worse or not getting better," Shah said. "COVID-19 is not on the other side of the fence. It's in our yards."
(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)