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York County To Investigate COVID-19 Outbreak At Jail, As Cases Grow To 85

Maine Public File
The Maine Center for Disease Control has linked 85 cases of COVID-19 to an outbreak at the York County Jail.

An investigation is underway into an outbreak of COVID-19 at the York County Jail, which the Maine Center for Disease Control has now linked to 85 cases of the disease.

The jail outbreak is now one of the largest in Maine since the novel coronavirus pandemic began. Research indicates that outbreaks at correctional facilities can quickly spread to surrounding areas.

Health officials say the outbreak at the jail, located in Alfred, has been linked to an August 7 wedding in Millinocket.

York County Manager Gregory Zinser said Thursday that the county will work with the York County Sheriff's Office on a "comprehensive inquiry'' into the outbreak, which began at jail Aug. 19.

More than half of the people sickened at the jail have been inmates.

Zinser says the county will take action once it has gathered all the facts.

The Portland Press Herald reports that widespread testing has been underway at the jail for days. It is unclear how the jail will handle housing new inmates going forward.

The Maine CDC has scheduled an update on the coronavirus at 2 p.m. Thursday. You can tune in live on Maine Public Radio and TV, and on our website and Facebook page.

Updated at 1:29 p.m. September 3, 2020.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.