In this Aug. 19, 2020, photo, a pedestrian walks past the Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center shown in Madison. Credit: Rich Abrahamson / Waterville Morning Sentinel via AP

Madison community members are organizing a drive-by parade on Friday to show support for people at the center of a recent COVID-19 outbreak that has so far claimed the lives of six residents at a long-term care facility.

The virus began making its way through the Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center after an employee caught it from a parent, who had in turn caught it from a child who attended the Aug. 7 wedding in the Millinocket region, which has sparked the state’s largest coronavirus outbreak to date.

The disease has infected at least 24 residents and 15 employees, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. As of Tuesday, 176 cases elsewhere in the state have also been linked to the August wedding.

The event — which is being organized via Facebook by resident Steve Austin and a Madison community page — is expected to begin around 2 p.m. Friday.

“September 18, 2020 makes one full month that the dedicated staff at Maplecrest have been supporting their residents through a COVID-19 outbreak,” the Facebook event said.

A description of the event noted that community members want to “show Maplecrest staff and residents love and support.”

“Maplecrest has a long standing, strong link with the community. Many events throughout the year promote community and family involvement. Our community suppers, holiday events, and scheduled activities have served to establish a sense of partnership between Maplecrest, our families and the community.”

Cars will line up on Heald Street at 1:30 p.m. before starting the parade. People are asked to RSVP by Thursday. Organizers will give out a prize for the best “love and support themed car.”

More information about the event can be found on Facebook.