Coronavirus outbreak detected at Waldo County church – Portland Press Herald – Press Herald

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found a coronavirus outbreak at a Waldo County church, possibly linked to a “fellowship rally” that the congregation held between Oct. 2 and Oct. 4.

Brooks Pentecostal Church, in Brooks, Maine, has at least 17 cases of COVID-19 among its worshippers, the health agency said Saturday night.

Contact tracing is underway, and the Maine CDC asked potential contacts of infected people to cooperate.

“Close contacts can help limit potential spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 by answering calls, providing complete information, and quarantining when advised to do so,” the agency said in a news release Saturday.

The CDC is advising anyone who spent time at the church or its affiliated school since Oct. 2 to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, which include cough, fever, shortness of breath, fatigue and body aches, among others.

Anyone who attended a fellowship rally that the congregation hosted between Oct. 2 and Oct. 4 could have been exposed to the virus and should take precautions, the CDC said.

Some of the church cases were accounted for in new reported cases on Saturday, the agency said, but not all. The CDC’s statewide case counts on Sunday may also include some from Brooks Pentecostal.

The church’s website and social media pages didn’t display information about the outbreak on Sunday morning. Videos of services posted to Facebook indicate that the church has been conducting in-person worship since at least September, when one video showed congregants gathering close together in the pews, without masks.

A video posted Oct. 4 appears to show a similar close, maskless gathering.