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Maine needs to learn from avoidable failures in state's largest outbreak

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The more than 170 cases in Maine's largest COVID-19 outbreak, spread out across several counties and multiple locations, have been connected by more than the virus. They've also been connected by avoidable failures.

The Big Moose Inn, Maplecrest nursing home and York County Jail are linked by glaring and consequential failures to follow government rules and guidance. And some of those failures, given the nature of COVID-19, seem to have led to fatal consequences.

It began with an Aug. 7 wedding reception that the state says exceeded Maine's 50-person limit for indoor gatherings where guests failed to wear face coverings or social distance. But those failures to follow state rules at the wedding reception didn't automatically guarantee that seven people would die, six of them from Maplecrest.

There were additional failures at the Madison nursing home that helped the virus spread among staff and residents. Based on the findings of a state inspector who visited the facility, the first Maplecrest worker who tested positive for the virus was allowed to work on Aug. 11 despite reporting several symptoms associated with COVID-19.

That worker, a certified nursing assistant, recorded having a........

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