A fifth person has died of coronavirus in connection with a large August wedding held in Maine in violation of social distancing regulations that has been tied to at least 175 confirmed cases, the latest example of a pandemic wedding that has caused an outbreak.
The wedding reception, held in Millinocket, Maine, had more than 65 guests, violating state regulations that caps attendance at 50 for indoor events, and the majority of the reported victims did not attend the wedding and were infected second-hand.
A pair of San Francisco newlyweds tested positive for the virus along with at least eight guests after their July wedding was shut down when it was found to be in violation of the city’s strict coronavirus orders.
Last month, 13 cases in a nearby county were tied to a wedding held in Shawnee County, Kansas.
A large July wedding in Apalachin, New York, spawned several confirmed infections, and guests who attended the rehearsal dinner or wedding were directed by health officials to self-quarantine.
Wedding coronavirus outbreaks aren’t just an American trend. A June wedding in India resulted in tragedy after more than 100 guests were infected with coronavirus, including the groom, who reportedly died just days after the ceremony. After a wedding over the summer in Iran, all of the bride and groom’s parents reportedly died from the virus.
A survey of engaged couples by wedding website The Knot found 96% have not cancelled their weddings because of the pandemic, though 65% said they pushed back their ceremony to later in 2020. It has thrown the $78 billion American wedding industry for a loop as event planners and vendors like caterers, florists, photographers, dressmakers and venue owners have been left with little or no incoming revenue during the summer months, which are usually the height of the wedding season and the most profitable. Some couples have turned to tech and gotten married with friends and family tuning in virtually, using software like Zoom and FaceTime to share the special day safely.
Virus death toll linked to Maine wedding grows to 5 (Associated Press)
Weddings as a Coronavirus Super-Spreader Worry (New York Times)