The Maine Center for Disease Control has opened an investigation into an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

As of Thursday, there are 18 total cases reported at the shipyard, said Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC.

Thirteen of the cases at the shipyard are among Maine residents. Four are from New Hampshire and one is from Massachusetts.

Seven of the cases are among nine people who commuted together from Sanford to the shipyard, Shah said. Two of the cases are among household contacts of shipyard employees.

Shah said the outbreak demonstrates how an increase in cases in York county can potentially expose a high number of workers to the disease. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard employs about 8,000 civilian employees. There also are 1,000 military personnel assigned to the base.

As of Thursday, there have been a total of 4,962 cases in Maine. There have been 4,317 recoveries. There have been 138 deaths among people with COVID-19.

State health officials have been concerned with numbers from York County, which accounted for one-third of the new cases on Thursday.

Officials are monitoring several outbreaks throughout the state. One active outbreak stemming from an Aug. 7 wedding in Millinocket is associated with 177 cases of the virus, Shah said. Seven deaths are associated with the outbreak, which includes smaller outbreaks at the Maplecrest Rehabilitation Center in Madison at the York County Jail.

Shah also said is the Maine CDC's "working hypothesis" is the outbreak in Millinocket is connected to an outbreak at the Calvary Baptist Church in Sanford. Several members of the church reportedly attended the wedding, he said.

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