coronavirus outbreak

Maine Pastor Linked to Super-Spreader Wedding Planning Gathering in NH: Report

The son of Rev. Todd Bell is getting married Oct. 17 at a church in New Hampshire but a family minister will officiate the ceremony, a spokesperson told the Bangor Daily News

The family of a Maine pastor who officiated a wedding in August linked to a COVID-19 outbreak will gather in October in New Hampshire for another wedding.

The son of Rev. Todd Bell is getting married Oct. 17 at South Church, a Unitarian Universalist church, in Portsmouth, according to the Bangor Daily News. A church spokesperson told the paper a family minister would officiate the ceremony.

While the church sanctuary can hold 525 people, the spokesperson told the Bangor Daily News that about 50 people would attend the ceremony and attendees were expected to wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

The church spokesperson told the Bangor Daily News she would be "more worried about a reception" than the ceremony at the church.

Bell has come under fire after he officiated a wedding near Millinocket on Aug. 7 and 10 of his congregants at Calvary Baptist Church in Sanford, Maine, later tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

At least eight Maine residents connected to the wedding have died and another 180 have been infected. Among those impacted include inmates at York County Jail and residents of Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center in Madison.

Bell has continued to hold services in Sanford and bristled over attacks aimed at him on social media. In one sermon, he urged people to put their trust in God over government and questioned the wisdom of masks, likening their effectiveness to a chain-link fence trying to keep out mosquitoes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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