By Madeline Holcombe | CNN
A wedding in Maine is linked to 176 Covid-19 cases and the deaths of seven people who didn’t attend the celebration, demonstrating just how easily and quickly the virus can spread at social gatherings, public health experts say.
As officials continue to push preventive measures, such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing to keep infection rates low, they also have been vocal in warning against large gatherings.
But Americans have continued to congregate, leading to outbreaks tied to a number of events, from Memorial Day and Fourth of July celebrations to a massive motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota.
The wedding held in Millinocket on August 7 had about 65 guests, in violation of the state’s 50-person cap for indoor events, Maine CDC said.
The event is linked to outbreaks that have unfolded at a nursing home and a jail, both more than 100 miles away from the wedding venue, and among people who had only secondary or tertiary contact with an attendee.
Residents at Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center accounted for 39 cases tied to the wedding and six of the seven deaths thus far, Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav D. Shah said.
“The virus favors gatherings,” Shah added. “It does not distinguish between happy events like a wedding celebration, or sad farewells, like a funeral.”
Despite such somber warnings, about 1,500 people descended on a New Jersey boardwalk house featured in MTV’s “Jersey Shore” Monday night, ending in eight arrests, according to Seaside Heights police.
The event was organized by a group of YouTube pranksters, according to Seaside Heights Police Detective Steve Korman, and officials say they are now worried about how they will track possible infections among more than a thousand people.
Universities try to get ahead of outbreaks
Outbreaks have been cropping up at colleges and universities, bedeviling administrators working to contain spread.
More than 50,000 coronavirus cases have been reported at colleges and universities in all 50 states.
Citing a significant rise in cases among students, Colorado University of Boulder will be moving to a 14-day quarantine period for students living within the city, according to its website.
The University of Arizona is taking a similar tact, urging students to shelter in place until the end of the month after a large number of positive cases. The university reported 261 positive cases on Monday, according to the school’s coronavirus dashboard.
Two students were expelled and three suspended at the University of Missouri for violating rules that require students who test positive to isolate and comply with social distancing.
“These students willfully put others at risk, and that is never acceptable. We will not let the actions of a few take away the opportunity for in-person learning that more than 8,000 faculty and staff have worked so hard to accomplish for the more than 30,000 MU students,” the university said in a statement Tuesday.
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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment