Maine health officials have linked the Deeper Life Assembly church at 97 Higgins Road in Pittsfield, photographed Monday, to 11 cases of COVID-19. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

State health officials announced Monday they had detected 11 positive cases of COVID-19 in people connected to the Deeper Life Assembly church in Pittsfield.

During a press briefing Monday afternoon, Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention, said the investigation into the Pentecostal church at 97 Higgins Road had begun within the previous 24 hours.

“The outbreak investigation includes 11 cases,” Robert Long, the CDC’s communication director, wrote in an email Monday. “Case investigations and contact tracing are ongoing.”

Attempts to reach a church representative Monday were unsuccessful. The telephone number listed on the church’s Facebook page led directly to voicemail box that had not been set up, and the website listed on the Facebook page led to an error screen.

Pittsfield Town Manager Kathryn Ruth said she had not received complaints concerning the church’s violating state safety guidelines.

Chief Bernard Williams of the Pittsfield Fire Department, who also serves as the town’s emergency management officer, said the Maine CDC alerted him to the investigation Sunday afternoon.

“All I was told is that there is an investigation into the church,” Williams said Monday during a telephone interview.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, there have been 6,799 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 and 148 deaths in Maine.

The state is currently experiencing an increase in cases, with the seven-day case average rising to 73, up from 32 a month ago.


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