Maine Wedding Infected 177 People With COVID-19, and Killed 7 People Who Weren’t Even Guests!

A Maine wedding reception of 55 people left more than half of its guests infected with COVID-19, affecting a total of 176 people despite Maine’s current public health guideline of a 50-person limit for indoor gatherings. Seven people have already died, but what’s more disturbing is that they did not even attend the wedding.

The management of Big Moose Inn, where the wedding was held, said that they misinterpreted the state’s 50-person cap for indoor events. “We did make an error in the interpretation of that rule,” the management said in a statement. “Our interpretation was that we could take a wedding party of more than 50 persons, and split them between two rooms as long as it didn’t exceed our total capacity or a specific room’s capacity.”

How Did It Spread So Far and So Fast?

According to Dr. Nirav Shah, the director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the guests who attended the event infected their parents, who then infected one of their children, who infected their co-workers. All of these events happened within a span of 2 ½ weeks.

Outbreaks at the Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center and the York County Jail were connected to the wedding after one staff member from each facility was found to have attended the event. The York County Jail, which is 200 miles away from the wedding reception, now has 80 cases confirmed while 39 people from the rehabilitation center have tested positive.

Health officials have traced cases linked to the wedding throughout August, with 24 cases initially. By the end of the month, it grew to 123 cases and by September 3, the recorded number was at 143.

Maine has recorded 4,415 COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with an average of 29 per day. The US has had 11.3 million cases of COVID-19 to date, with 247,000 deaths and counting.

Mass Gatherings: How Many is Too Many?

Social distancing has been a key phrase in the past months, being the most important factor in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. However, despite social distancing measures, other factors come into play, such as how susceptible we are to infection, the frequency of contact we have with people, and the duration of those contacts.

Respiratory infections appear to be the most common infectious disease transmitted during gatherings. The World Health Organization has advised governments to seriously consider postponing any gathering that brings people together, potentially amplifying the virus through close contact.

And while everyone wants to know what exact number of people is too many, what really matters is keeping gatherings small and considering the social dynamics that may be involved in the crowd. The sheer size of the group is not the only factor to consider; for example, small groups of five people can be as risky as a big event with 100 people. There is no magic number that we can consider safe for gatherings, but reducing the amount of contact

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Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker calls crowded wedding “very irresponsible” amid spike in COVID-19 deaths

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker criticized the hosts of a large wedding in the Chicago area as the state saw a near-record number of COVID-19 related deaths reported Thursday.

State officials said 238 deaths were reported on Wednesday, although figures reported each day could include deaths that happened in earlier days but were not immediately reported to the state. Another 192 deaths were reported Thursday, CBS Chicago reports.

The elevated figures come a day after a wedding in Northbrook, Illinois, where hundreds of people gathered without masks, according to a CBS Chicago report. 

“I’m deeply concerned for the people who attended that wedding, I understand that people were in very close proximity from one another, I understand that those people will go home or back into their communities and may have infected other people, and that is very concerning to all of us,” said Pritzker.  He urged each guest to isolate and get a test.

Pritzker said Cook County, which is where the hotel is located, is taking the lead on enforcement. 

Illinois moved to Tier 3 safety measures on November 20, which includes a ban on indoor service at bars and restaurants; the closing of theaters, casinos and museums; a cap of 10 attendees at funerals; and the closure of hotel meeting and event spaces, among other measures.

Pritzker called the decision to go forward with the wedding after the introduction of more stringent safety guidelines “very irresponsible, and it’s also irresponsible of the hotel to host an event like that. They too have breached the rules and they, too, should be held responsible.”

According to a CBS Chicago report, a statement released by Hilton Chicago/Northbrook General Manager Holly Allgauer-Cir said that while the 150-person wedding was booked prior to the state’s latest, more stringent safety measures, “we sincerely regret allowing this gathering to proceed and our family apologizes to our guests, employees, and the Chicagoland community.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has reported a total of 12,830 deaths from the virus since the pandemic began. The state also reported 10,959 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total to 759,562 cases since the start of the pandemic.

While deaths from the virus have continued to trend upward since early October, when a new surge of the pandemic started in Illinois, new cases started trending downward over the past few weeks. However, they remain far higher than they were at the start of October, CBS Chicago reports.

Illinois is averaging 9,870 new cases per day over the past two weeks, compared to 11,914 per day over the previous two weeks. That’s still more than four times the average of 2,452 cases per day during the first two weeks of October.

As of Wednesday night, 5,653 virus patients were hospitalized in Illinois, including 1,170 patients in intensive care, and 693 patients on ventilators.

While hospitalizations seem to have started trending downward since peaking at 6,175 on November 20, there are still far more COVID-19 patients

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What Is the Risk of Getting COVID-19 While Shopping?

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Experts are learning more about the risk of shopping and COVID-19. Alena Paulus/Getty Images
  • Cities like El Paso, Texas, are experiencing sharp increases in COVID-19 cases.
  • Some people are experiencing “COVID fatigue.” They’re exhausted from practicing measures to prevent infection.
  • One expert says people respond to stress differently “and disaster stress is no different.”
  • There are common sense ways to reduce your risk of infection while shopping in stores.

The holiday season has officially begun, and cities like El Paso, Texas, are reeling from a one-two punch of already surging COVID-19 rates and new infections, possibly due to widespread travel over Thanksgiving.

El Paso Mayor Dee Margo places the blame on “COVID fatigue,” reported CBS Dallas-Fort Worth.

“I think people just… the consensus is people just had ‘COVID fatigue’ and they let down. As Dr. [Deborah] Birx said, you got to wear the mask and you’ve got to maintain the distancing and you’ve got to avoid the crowds,” Margo told “Face the Nation” on Sunday. He confirmed that contact tracing found that “55 percent of the positives were coming from shopping at large retailers, what we’d term as the big-box stores.”

Experts say “COVID fatigue” is a very real problem.

“’COVID fatigue’ is the idea that we have been ‘cooped up’ and careful for such a long period of time that it is starting to feel particularly draining, daunting, and isolating to the point that some people may let their guard down,” Brittany LeMonda, PhD, senior neuropsychologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, told Healthline.

According to LeMonda, disaster stress is how individuals respond to an unusually challenging or noxious situation.

“Everyone responds differently to stress in general, and disaster stress is no different,” she said. “People may experience stress in the form of physical or somatic symptoms, headaches, changes in sleep patterns, GI [gastrointestinal] distress. Others may experience emotional and cognitive symptoms, sadness, fear, difficulties concentrating.”

LeMonda explained that while some people may take their stress out on others by becoming easily angered or agitated, “Some people engage in risky behaviors, like excessive drinking, drug use, or gambling to help cope with stress.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says those most at risk for disaster stress include teens and individuals at high risk of severe illness, like seniors and people with underlying medical conditions.

We know being in crowded places can increase our chances of getting COVID-19, but just how risky is shopping during the current surge in coronavirus infections?

According to Dr. David Hirschwerk, an attending infectious diseases physician at Northwell Health in Manhasset, New York, it depends.

He explained that there are several factors that must be considered:

  • whether the shopping is indoors or outdoors, with outdoors being safer
  • the number of people shopping — fewer means it’s easier to maintain social (physical) distancing
  • how long you’ll take — the faster you’re done, the better
  • COVID-19 positivity rate in the local community

“But since most communities in the country are

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Atlanta Hawks’ Depth A Plus In Era Of Covid-19, Star Shopping

When the Atlanta Hawks were finished shopping in free agency and making trade deals it looked like they had acquired so many quality players that General Manager Travis Schlenk had something up his sleeve, like perhaps a multi-player swap for a superstar to go with All-Star guard Trae Young.

The Hawks, per rules, had to spend most of their $43 million cap space. It could be that with not much money in the market, the Hawks had no choice but to make deals; they had to spend the money on the free agents, so they dove in. After all, they signed Danilio Gallinari at $19.5 million a season with the understanding he would be coming off the bench. Who does that but a team loaded with bucks?

The Hawks certainly had to have anxious moments as they chased guard Bogdan Bogdanovic with a fistful of cash. If the Sacramento Kings had matched the Atlanta offer for Bogdanovic what player was left out there the Hawks could have spent $72 million money on for four years?

The Hawks have acquired enough top-tier players through free agency and trades they could make a deal. Look at the top 12 guys. This is a deep team. So, perhaps, Schlenk and head coach Lloyd Pierce make a keen evaluation of the young core, and the veterans, and then skim the cream off the top, package the rest, and make a deal?

Schlenk, as a general manager of a pro franchise, and in order to keep his job, has to think about deals that make his club better. Collins, veteran wing Tony Snell, and one of the first-round picks might be enticing after Dec. 11, which is the first day Snell can be dealt.

“One of the things I really like about where we are is with the veteran guys we have, with the younger guys we have — we have a lot of guys on our roster that other teams value, so we always want to keep ourselves in position if there is a star player that comes available — we’re in position to go and try acquire them,” he said. “We’re in a nice situation there because we do have a lot of young talent that people value, and now we have good veterans that we can use to match salary. We’re going to continue to look to be aggressive as we build this team out.”

The sweetest deal would be for Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo, but he is likely to sign his supermax deal with the Bucks before December 21. The Bucks would not have surrendered three future first-round picks and multiple pick swaps to New Orleans for Jrue Holiday without some assurances Giannis was signable.

Is Collins

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Morgan and Dylan: Bride wore double the dresses at a summer wedding cut in half by COVID-19 | Weddings

The Knuths

June 27, 2020, Empire Room, Yoni Gill

A DAY IN THE PARK A mutual friend’s engagement party brought Morgan Henn and Dylan Knuth together. At the time, she was living in Kansas City, and he in Minneapolis. “We were excited about each other, but weren’t sure where to go next since we were long distance,” the bride remembers. But they made it work, and on an April 2019 trip to New York City, Dylan proposed in Central Park. The couple were married at Turner Park in Omaha on June 27, 2020.

GOING FORWARD But before that summer day, the coronavirus pandemic hit in the spring, and Morgan and Dylan had to re-evaluate their wedding plan to factor in gathering restrictions and health precautions. “It was an emotional rollercoaster,” the bride says. “Nobody had a rule book for how to navigate this.” After many discussions with their vendors, including some on possible backup dates, the couple decided to go forward with their original plan, but cut their 300-count guest list in half to accommodate their venue’s capacity restrictions.

The Knuths

WORK PERKS One thing the bride didn’t have to cut down on was wedding dresses. Morgan works in sales for bridal designer Van Der Velde, and commissioned two dresses. For the ceremony, she chose a ball gown from the company’s latest collection, customized with a higher waist and different fabric. For her reception dress, Morgan worked with Van Der Velde’s designers on a whole new idea. “I had always been obsessed with Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s wedding dress, and I knew I wanted something more form-fitting that I could move in.” The result was a satin-back crepe gown with a draping neckline, cowl back and train. “I received so many compliments on it that it was added to the 2021 Van Der Velde line as the Morgan gown.”

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Global Blood Pressure Monitoring Equipment And Accessories Market 2020 to 2025 Top Countries Data, Growth Pattern and Analyzing Impacts Of COVID-19

The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.

Dec 02, 2020 (CDN Newswire via Comtex) —
The latest research report titled Global Blood Pressure Monitoring Equipment And Accessories Market 2020 by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2025 demonstrates a thorough executive synopsis of the industry over the globe. The report focuses on target groups of customers to help players effectively market their products and achieve strong sales in the global Blood Pressure Monitoring Equipment And Accessories market. The report studies the market basic introduction and description of the market. It gives the information on the key drivers, constraints, and opportunity evaluation for the report readers/viewers to get a current market scenario. The report segregates useful and relevant market information as per the business needs of players. The research includes the absolute growth revenue value of the market across the globe over the forecast period 2020-2025.

The report shows validated and revalidated market forecast figures such as CAGR, market revenue, production, consumption, and market share. The vendor landscape is also analyzed in-depth to reveal current and future market challenges and business tactics adopted by leading companies to tackle them. The report serves industry value and volume prognosis. This report is comprehensive numerical analyses of the global Blood Pressure Monitoring Equipment And Accessories industry and provides data for making strategies to increase market growth and success. It also estimates the market size, price, revenue, gross margin and market share, cost structure, and growth rate.


NOTE: Our analysts monitoring the situation across the globe explains that the market will generate remunerative prospects for producers post COVID-19 crisis. The report aims to provide an additional illustration of the latest scenario, economic slowdown, and COVID-19 impact on the overall industry.

The research covers the current market size of the market and its growth rates based on records with the company outline of key players/manufacturers: Omron Healthcare, Welch Allyn, American Diagnostic Corporation, Koninklijke Philips N.V., Withings SA, Schiller AG, A&D Medical, Spacelabs Healthcare, SPENGLER, SunTech Medical, GE Healthcare

By the product type, the market is primarily split into: Automatic Sphygmomanometer, Ambulatory Sphygmomanometer, Blood Pressure Sensor, Blood Pressure Meter Accessories

By the end-users/application, the market report covers the following segments: , Hospitals, Clinics, Ambulatory Surgery Centers, Home Care Settings, Others

Major countries play a vital role in the market: North America (United States, Canada and Mexico), Europe (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Russia and Italy), Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India, Southeast Asia and Australia), South America (Brazil, Argentina), Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and South Africa)

How Will This Report Benefit Potential Stakeholders?

The report gives figurative estimations for upcoming years on the basis of the recent developments and historic data. Researchers have used top-down and bottom-up approaches for gathering information and estimating revenue for all segments. On the basis of data collected from primary and secondary research and trusted data sources the report will help both existing and new aspirants for the

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What were Austin’s COVID-19 numbers like when Mayor Adler hosted his daughter’s wedding?

Data shows local COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions were ticking up in the days leading up to Adler’s daughter’s wedding and the Mexico vacation that followed.

AUSTIN, Texas — The KVUE Defenders have confirmed that in early November, Austin Mayor Steve Adler hosted his daughter’s wedding in Austin, then vacationed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with a group of eight people, including immediate and extended family.

Both the wedding and the vacation happened just as top health officials began urging families not to gather with others outside their households, and Adler himself asked people to stay home if they could. 

Adler confirmed that the wedding and reception – held on Nov. 7 at Hotel Saint Cecilia on South Congress Avenue – had 20 guests in attendance. At the time, the city was under Stage 3 guidelines, which suggest no gatherings of more than 10 people.

WATCH: Amid COVID-19, Austin mayor says ‘stay home’ in video recorded on vacation in Mexico

KVUE dug into Austin’s COVID-19 numbers in the days leading up to the wedding and in the weeks that followed.

In late October, Austin was averaging a little less than 90 new COVID-19 cases per day. To start November, that number climbed to the mid-90s. By the day of the wedding, the city was averaging up to around 125 cases.

By comparison, that number rose to 300 a few days before Thanksgiving.

As for hospital admissions – the metric that the City’s guidelines are based on – that number was under 20 and falling at the end of October. But hospital admissions quickly started climbing to 25 by the day of the wedding and continued increasing to 37 by Thanksgiving.

Below is the graph for the hospital admissions average on Nov. 7, the day of the wedding:

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Gov. Abbott: 1.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed to Texas this month

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How this Black-icon-infused fashion line found success amid Covid-19

Several years ago, Johanne and Terrance Wilson, of Hollywood, Florida, celebrated African-American icons in a meaningful way, by passing on their inspiring stories to their daughter, who was 6 years old at the time.

Terrance, an illustrator, brought influential Black figures—from Martin Luther King and Maya Angelou to Notorious B.I.G. and Lauryn Hill—to life through storytelling and sketching portraits. One day, Johanne had an epiphany—these beautiful portraits created by her husband within the walls of their own home should be shared with the world. And so COOL Creative, a unique boutique that offers apparel and accessories with African-American icons displayed on them, was born.

Models wearing COOL Creative apparel.Courtesy of Comcast.

COOL is an acronym for Create Out Of Love, because for the Wilsons, their brand design and digital agency isn’t just a business, it’s a family. The Wilsons worked hard to expand and lay the groundwork to open a brick-and-mortar store to sell their apparel in Little Haiti, a neighborhood of Miami, Florida.

Despite the strides the family took to grow their business, they recently experienced the major setbacks as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. After pouring countless resources into opening a store, they could not physically open due to lockdown orders and delays from manufacturers. Ironically, during a time when racial inequality and #BlackLivesMatter protests echoed in cities around the country, COOL Creative was also fighting for a lifeline.

The Wilsons are certainly not alone. African-Americans have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19 from every angle, from systemic health inequities that put them at greater risk of the virus to the fact that Black-owned, small businesses are nearly twice as likely to shutter during the pandemic.

A model in COOL Creative apparel.Courtesy of Comcast.

Between February and April 2020, the number of active Black-owned businesses declined by 41 percent, compared to 21 percent for the general population, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Unwilling to back down from their dream, the Wilsons carried on. With the same tenacity and grit that Johanne once had as a young student applying for numerous grants and scholarships to finance her college education, she set out to find assistance that might help COOL Creative rise above the overwhelming pressures that came from the pandemic. That’s when she found the Comcast RISE contest, which invites Black small business owners who were hit hardest by the pandemic to apply for a chance to win consulting, media services, creative production or a technology makeover. RISE targets the pioneers of legacy, the curators of culture, the family franchise and more.

Comcast RISE—which stands for Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment—stemmed from Comcast’s $100 million Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative that launched this past summer. The contest awarded COOL Creative with significant media services, including a commercial for 90 days and a recent appearance in November on “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”

“It’s more important than ever to stand with the Black community and amplify Black voices,” Clarkson said during her segment. The contest awarded

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Had COVID-19 In 2020? Be Extra Careful In Shopping For Your Health Plan : Shots

Headaches, lung issues and ongoing, debilitating fatigue are just a few of the symptoms plaguing some “long hauler” COVID-19 patients for months or more after the initial fever and acute symptoms recede.

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Headaches, lung issues and ongoing, debilitating fatigue are just a few of the symptoms plaguing some “long hauler” COVID-19 patients for months or more after the initial fever and acute symptoms recede.

Grace Cary/Getty Images

People buying their own health insurance have even more to think about this year, particularly those post-COVID-19 patients with lingering health concerns — the “long-haulers,” who join the club of Americans with preexisting conditions.

What type of plan is best for someone with an unpredictable, ongoing medical concern? That question is popping up on online chat sites dedicated to long-haulers and among people reaching out for assistance in selecting insurance coverage.

“We are hearing from a lot of people who have had COVID-19 and want to be able to deal with the long-term effects they are still suffering,” says Mark Van Arnam, director of the North Carolina Navigator Consortium, a group of organizations that offer free help to state residents enrolling in insurance.

The good news for those shopping for their own coverage is that the Affordable Care Act bars insurers from discriminating against people with medical conditions or charging them more than healthier policyholders. Former COVID-19 patients could face a range of physical or mental effects, including lung damage, heart or neurological concerns, anxiety and depression. Although some of these issues will dissipate with time, others may turn out to be long-standing problems.

So sign up, say Van Arnam and others to whom KHN reached out for tips on what people with post-COVID-19 should consider when selecting coverage. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, they say; all emphasize the need to consider a wide range of factors.

But don’t delay. Open enrollment in ACA plans is ongoing until Dec. 15 in most states — longer in some of the 14 states and the District of Columbia that run their own marketplaces.

Here are tips if you are shopping for health insurance, especially if you are a COVID-19 long hauler or have other health issues:

Make sure to select an ACA-qualified plan

It may be tempting to consider other, often far cheaper types of coverage offered by insurers, brokers, organizations and private websites. But those non-ACA plans offer less comprehensive coverage — and are not eligible for federal subsidies that help people who qualify cover the cost of the premiums. These are key factors for patients experiencing medical problems after battling the coronavirus.

Short-term, limited-duration plans, for example — which are not sold on the Affordable Care Act exchangesare cheaper, but the insurers offering them don’t have to accept people with preexisting conditions (or, if they do enroll those people, the plans don’t cover the members’ medical conditions). Many short-term plans don’t cover benefits such as prescription drugs or mental health care.


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Covid-19 Is Driving Down Wages and Women Are Worst Hit, ILO Says

(Bloomberg) — The pandemic is depressing wages, with International Labour Organization data showing the brunt is being borne by women and the lowest paid.

Average pay in Japan, South Korea and the U.K. came under pressure in the first half of the year. Wages in Brazil, Canada, France, Italy and the U.S. rose on balance, but chiefly because job losses were concentrated among the least well-paid, according to the ILO’s Global Wage Report 2020-21.

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“In countries where strong measures were taken to preserve employment, the effects of the crisis were felt primarily as falls in wages rather than massive job losses,” it said. “Those in lower-skilled occupations lost more working hours than higher-paying managerial and professional jobs.”


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The findings are the latest reminder that the global crisis is exacerbating inequality, with potentially long-lasting economic, social and political ramifications.

Sectors like leisure, tourism and hospitality that have been among the worst hit typically employ more women.

The ILO report found that without subsidies, workers on the lower half of the income scale would have lost 17.3% of their wages. Women would have also taken a bigger hit in percentage terms than men in the second quarter, due to a reduction of working hours.

The crisis “threatens a legacy of poverty and social and economic instability that would be devastating,” ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said.

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