A Pentecostal church in Pittsfield has become the third Maine church within a month to record a coronavirus outbreak amid a statewide spike in cases that has pushed the state’s daily numbers of new cases to record levels.
Eleven cases of COVID-19 have been connected to the Deeper Life Assembly church, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Nirav Shah said Monday.
The outbreak there follows recently reported outbreaks at a Pentecostal church in Brooks and a Baptist church in Calais. It also comes as Somerset County sees an uptick in cases that hadn’t previously been connected to large outbreaks.
The Deeper Life Assembly church did not immediately respond to requests for comment. However, a review of the church’s Facebook page shows it has hosted what it’s called “revival services” for weeks, and recently hosted the traveling, Florida-based evangelists G.W. and Carol Carroll.
While Somerset County has seen a recent uptick in cases, Pittsfield itself has seen few cases among residents. The town had recorded five or fewer cases of COVID-19 as of Oct. 25, according to the Maine CDC.
The other two ongoing church outbreaks have driven growth in case numbers in counties that had previously seen little virus activity.
The outbreak at Brooks Pentecostal Church is now connected to 60 cases, and likely began the weekend of Oct. 2, when between 100 and 150 people gathered for an indoor fellowship service at the church. Masks were available, but not routinely used.