Maine reported 42 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, while an outbreak linked to a Waldo County church continues to grow.

Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention director, will brief the media at 2 p.m. today. Among the new cases, nine were in York County, six in Waldo County, five in Cumberland County and five in Kennebec County.

After subtracting previously-reported cases that were probable but turned out to be negative, the net new cases in Maine was 37.

A woman walks past a display window at Longfellow Books in Portland’s Monument Square on Wednesday. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

The outbreak stemming from services at Brooks Pentecostal Church has grown from 17 cases over the weekend to 46 on Wednesday. Fellowship gatherings that involved Brooks Pentecostal and other churches from Oct. 2-4 ignored the Mills administration’s executive orders designed to protect public health during a pandemic, which included limiting indoor crowds to less than 50, wearing masks in indoor public places and social distancing by keeping six feet apart.

About 100 to 150 attended the events in early October, including parishioners from the Quaker Hill Christian Church in Unity and the Charleston Church and Faith Bible College in Charleston.

In addition, Brooks Pentecostal in early October also held its own church services attended by 70 to 100 people, and public health rules were also ignored during those services, according to the Maine CDC.

Cases connected to the church outbreak have been found at nearby public schools and at Bayview Manor, an assisted living center in Searsport. Bayview Manor completed a round of universal testing of all its staff and residents and found no additional cases, according to the Maine CDC.

Since the pandemic began, 6,064 people in Maine have been infected with COVID-19, and 146 have died. There were no additional deaths reported on Thursday.

The seven-day average of daily new cases stood at 37 on Thursday, compared to 31 two weeks ago and 30.3 a month ago.

This story will be updated.


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