SANFORD, Maine -- The Calvary Baptist Church has been linked to the state's largest coronavirus outbreak through its pastor, Todd Bell, who officiated a wedding in the Millinocket are on Aug. 7. Credit: Nick Schroede / BDN

An attorney for Pastor Todd Bell of the Calvary Baptist Church in Sanford said the church is encouraging congregants not to wear masks.

Masks also are not required at the church’s school, Sanford Christian Academy.

Bell has continued to hold indoor services even after an Aug. 7 wedding that he officiated in the Millinocket area sparked Maine’s largest coronavirus outbreak. Some of his parishioners have tested positive for the virus.

Public health officials haven’t confirmed a link between an outbreak at Calvary Baptist Church — where at least 10 people connected to the church are infected — and the wedding that Bell officiated.

That comes as the Sanford City Council unanimously approved an emergency ordinance requiring face coverings to be worn in public places and fines violators $100.

Sanford is currently dealing with several different outbreaks.

The mayor, Tom Cote, said the city has to turn the trend around and hopes the face covering measure will help local businesses recover.

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