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CDC investigates outbreak at church in Brooks

By Stephen Betts | Oct 18, 2020
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah

Brooks — The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed a COVID-19 outbreak investigation associated with the Brooks Pentecostal Church in the Waldo County town of Brooks.

As of 5 p.m. Oct. 17, 17 cases were linked to the outbreak. Most of these cases are reflected in the cumulative case count posted on Maine CDC’s website, although some newly identified cases will be included in Sunday’s update.

Maine CDC has started contact tracing. 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.

Individuals who spent any time at the church or its affiliated school since Oct. 2, should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, and if they experience symptoms, stay home and contact a medical provider to discuss testing and treatment. Additionally, anyone who attended a fellowship rally the congregation hosted between Oct. 2 and Oct. 4, could have been exposed to the virus and should take these precautions.

Individuals who think they need a COVID-19 test, with or without symptoms, may get one under the Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ Standing Order. A list of sites providing tests under the Standing Order is available on the Keep Maine Healthy website. This list includes DHHS-sponsored swab and send sites that offer testing at no charge.

COVID-19 symptoms include cough, fever, shortness of breath, fatigue or body aches among many others. A comprehensive list of symptoms can be found at cdc.gov.

Individuals who experience any symptoms of COVID-19 or who otherwise do not feel well should not go out in public, including for work, travel, school, worship or gatherings of any size.

Maine people can protect their health and prevent the spread of COVID-19 by washing their hands often, staying at least six feet apart, avoiding large gatherings and wearing a face covering in public places, especially when physical distancing is difficult to maintain.

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