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636 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Maine Friday; 4 more deaths

Find developments on the Maine coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak as we work together to separate facts from fear. Friday, January 22, 2021.

MAINE, USA — KEY MAINE CORONAVIRUS FACTS

FRIDAY, JANUARY 22

The Maine CDC reported four additional deaths of people with COVID-19. The state death toll stands at 540 deaths.

The Maine CDC reported 636 additional COVID-19 cases in the state.

Of the 36,274 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 29,472 are confirmed by tests and 6,802 are probable. 

12,187 Mainers have completed COVID-19 isolation.

  • Cumulative reported vaccinations = 98,371
  • First doses = 78,395
  • Second doses = 19,876
  • Total currently hospitalized = 190
  • In critical care = 61
  • On a ventilator = 19

The Maine CDC's next state coronavirus update is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

Credit: NCM

THURSDAY, JANUARY 21

The Maine CDC reported six additional deaths of people with COVID-19. The state death toll stands at 536 deaths.

The six additional deaths reported Thursday include two residents of Cumberland County, one resident of Kennebec County, one resident of Penobscot County, one resident of Washington County, and one resident of York County. Five were men and one was a woman. Three were in their 70s and three were in their 80s.

The Maine CDC reported 675 additional COVID-19 cases in the state.

Of the 35,638 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 28,999 are confirmed by tests and 6,639 are probable.

3,575 of Maine's total COVID-19 cases have been among healthcare workers.

12,128 Mainers have completed COVID-19 isolation.

182 people in Maine are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, including 54 who are being treated in intensive care units and 21 who are on ventilators.

As of Thursday morning, the Maine CDC reported 92,008 cumulative vaccinations across the state. Of those 92,008, 74,760 are first doses and 17,248 are second doses.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said the Maine CDC has opened an outbreak investigation into four cases at the Franklin County Jail. The Maine CDC is working with the jail to make sure they have the resources they need to respond to the virus.

Update on compromised vaccine doses

A total of 4,400 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine shipped to Maine were compromised because they exceeded the temperature required for storage, Shah said during Tuesday’s coronavirus briefing.

On Thursday, Shah provided an update. He said that according to the distributor, McKesson, some of the gel packs that are used to maintain the appropriate temperatures during shipping on Sunday were actually too cold. Initially, the doses were thought to be too warm but now Operation Warp Speed and McKesson believe the doses were actually too cold. 

"Being too cold increases the chances that the vaccines that were delivered to Maine, those 4,400 doses, can eventually be used," Shah said. "That's because vaccines of this sort are generally more stable in cold environments."

Shah added that the "devil is in the details."

"How cold actually was it? And for how long? And what impact may that have had on the stability of the vaccine overall? Those are the questions that the scientists at the manufacturer, Moderna, are investigating and hopefully answering for us very soon," Shah said.

"Let me be very clear on a couple of things," Shah said. "Number one: not one of those doses has been administered to anyone in Maine. If and only if the scientists who are experts in vaccine stability determine that these doses are fully safe and are fully effective could they then be used."

"Number two: as soon as we became aware of the situation and had determined the extent of it, we immediately notified Operation Warp Speed, which as I talked about on Tuesday dispatched replacement doses," Shah continued. "All 4,400 of those replacement doses have arrived in Maine and our ability to keep vaccinating folks has been slowed down only minorly because of that one day on Monday."

Shah said Maine CDC does not yet know when federal officials and scientists will complete their analysis of what precisely happened and what it means for the ultimate viability of this vaccine. For now, Maine CDC has asked those who receive the vaccine to keep it in the frozen environment but cordoned off until Maine CDC learns additional confirmatory details.

"I want to underscore, as I talked about on Tuesday, that there is a process in place to spot instances of this sort. In this situation that process worked exactly as it should have," Shah added. "The process is to ensure the safety of vaccines from the site of the manufacturer to the site of administration and that process, as we've discussed, is multi-layered and thorough. In this situation the system worked as it should. Recipients of the vaccine notified us immediately, we notified Operation Warp Speed and the U.S. CDC immediately, and they began their investigation into what went wrong and what it means for the ultimate viability of the vaccine."

Shah says that as Maine CDC knows more, he will keep the public updated.

Latest COVID-19 vaccine order nearly 1,000 fewer doses than the previous order, Maine DHHS says

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced Thursday that the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has placed another order for doses of COVID-19 vaccine, enough for 17,575 people, to the U.S. CDC and Operation Warp Speed. The total is 975 doses fewer than last week’s allocation, Maine DHHS says.

Maine DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew said, "The supply of COVID-19 vaccines sent to our state is inadequate and unpredictable, but we remain committed to making this life-saving vaccine available to more Maine people as soon as we can."

This order for the seventh week of vaccine distribution represents the latest in a series of vaccine requests that Maine CDC will file in the coming weeks and months, as specified by Operation Warp Speed.

Maine CDC's order reflects the maximum number of doses available to Maine for new vaccines, Maine DHHS says. 

Maine CDC's order, expected to arrive early next week, will comprise 8,775 doses from Pfizer and 8,800 doses from Moderna for the seventh week of distribution. 

Testing metrics

Maine's 7-day positivity rate for PCR testing is now at 4.1 percent. Shah says that represents a decrease of about a full percentage point compared to about a week ago.

"Much of that decrease is a function of increasing testing volume," Shah said. "Indeed the PCR testing volume in Maine right now stands at a near high of 780 PCR tests per every 100,000 people."

The antigen test positivity rate in Maine now stands at 6.55 percent. Antigen testing volume in Maine is at 174 tests per every 100,000 people.

Credit: NCM

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20

The Maine CDC reported 11 additional deaths of people with COVID-19. The state death toll stands at 530 deaths.

The Maine CDC reported 701 additional COVID-19 cases.

Of the 34,963 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 28,523 are confirmed by tests and 6,440 are probable. 

12,102 Mainers have completed COVID-19 isolation.

The next Maine CDC state coronavirus update is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Thursday.

Credit: NCM

TUESDAY, JANUARY 19

The Maine CDC reported five additional deaths of people with COVID-19. The state death toll stands at 519 deaths.

The five additional deaths reported Tuesday include two residents of Cumberland County, two residents of Penobscot County, and one resident of York County. Two of the people who died were men, while three were women. One was between 60 and 69 years old, one was between 70 and 79 years old, and three were 80 or older.

The Maine CDC reported 386 additional COVID-19 cases in the state.

Of the 34,262 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 28,034 are confirmed by tests and 6,228 are probable. 

12,071 Mainers have completed COVID-19 isolation.

A total of 4,400 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine shipped to Maine were compromised, Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC) Director Dr. Nirav Shah said during Tuesday’s coronavirus briefing.

According to Shah, the Maine CDC received reports from recipient sites that a shipment of the vaccine had exceeded the temperature required for storage.

After the report, Shah says the Maine CDC reached out to all recipients who were slated to receive deliveries Monday to see if their boxes had also indicated that their vaccine had exceeded the required temperature it needs to be stored at.

By the end of the day Monday, the Maine CDC had found that of the 50 shipments, 35 had experienced a temperature at some point in the shipping process above what was required to keep the vaccine safe.

In total, 4,400 doses of Moderna vaccine had exceeded temperature requirements.

Shah says those doses are being replaced; shipments are being delivered Tuesday and Wednesday.

“This news is concerning, but it’s important to note that this is how the system works,” Shah noted. “Our numerous checks along the way to ensure that when a vaccine arrives it is both safe and effective as well as viable. And that if at any point in that journey a vaccine—from the site of [the] manufacturer to someone’s arm here in Maine—the shipping, handling, and carrying conditions are not optimum, that there are processes in place so that we know that the vaccine is not given to somebody.”

MORE: Maine CDC: 4,400 Moderna vaccine doses compromised; US CDC, Operation Warp Speed investigating

New Maine CDC outbreak investigations

  • Six cases at the Twin Rivers Paper Company in Madawaska 
  • Four cases at the Maine Turnpike Authority in York
  • Five cases at the Alfred Fire Department 
  • Six cases at the Maine Veterans' Home in Augusta 

Updates on ongoing outbreaks

  • The case count at Dexter Health Care now stands at 74 cases.
  • The case count at Washington Manor in Knox County stands at 28 cases

"As with all cases in congregate living settings, we are working with the facilities to ensure they have everything they need, be it PPE, be it testing supplies, as well as advice and guidance on infection control practices, to minimize the spread of COVID-19 within the facility," Shah said Tuesday.

Testing metrics

Maine's 7-day positivity rate for PCR testing stands at 4.56 percent. Maine's PCR testing volume stands at 703 tests per every 100,000 people.

"As we talked a bit about last week, the positivity rate in Maine has come down in recent days, recent weeks," Shah said. "Some of that is in part because of the expansion, the rebounding of testing that has occurred across the state, specifically around PCR tests."

Maine's positivity rate for antigen testing stands at 6.61 percent. Maine's antigen testing volume stands at 177 antigen tests per every 100,000 people.

"Even though the antigen testing volume has stayed largely steady, the positivity rate among antigen tests has come down," Shah said.

Credit: NCM



MONDAY, JANUARY 18

The Maine CDC reported 3 additional deaths of people with COVID-19. The state death toll stands at 514 deaths.

The Maine CDC reported 317 additional COVID-19 cases.

Of the 33,876 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 27,768 are confirmed by tests and 6,108 are probable.

1,254 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point during their COVID-19 illnesses. Currently, 198 Mainers are hospitalized with COVID-19. 66 are under critical care and 26 are on ventilators.

11,989 Mainers have completed COVID-19 isolation.

The Maine CDC is scheduled to provide a state coronavirus update at 2 p.m. next Tuesday. NEWS CENTER Maine will stream it live on air, as well as on our website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and mobile app.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 17

The Maine CDC reported 4 additional deaths of people with COVID-19. The state death toll stands at 511 deaths.

The Maine CDC reported340 additional COVID-19 cases.

Of the 33,559 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 27,511 are confirmed by tests and 6,048 are probable.

1,244 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point during their COVID-19 illnesses. Currently, 193 Mainers are hospitalized with COVID-19. 63 are under critical care and 23 are on ventilators.

11,989 Mainers have completed COVID-19 isolation.

The Maine CDC is scheduled to provide a state coronavirus update at 2 p.m. next Tuesday. NEWS CENTER Maine will stream it live on air, as well as on our website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and mobile app.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 16

The Maine CDC reported 30 additional deaths of people with COVID-19. The state death toll stands at 507 deaths.

The Maine CDC reported 438 additional COVID-19 cases.

Of the 33,219 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 27,249 are confirmed by tests and 5,970 are probable. 63 are under critical care and 23 are on ventilators. 

1,242 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point during their COVID-19 illnesses. Currently, 193 Mainers are hospitalized with COVID-19. 

11,952 Mainers have completed COVID-19 isolation.

The Maine CDC is scheduled to provide a state coronavirus update at 2 p.m. next Tuesday. NEWS CENTER Maine will stream it live on air, as well as on our website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and mobile app.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 15

The Maine CDC reported 16 additional deaths of people with COVID-19. The state death toll stands at 477 deaths.

The Maine CDC reported 823 additional COVID-19 cases, which is one fewer than the single-day high for cases reported on a single day in Maine. 824 additional cases were reported on Wednesday, Jan. 13.

Of the 32,781 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 26,923 are confirmed by tests and 5,858 are probable.

1,228 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point during their COVID-19 illnesses.

11,876 Mainers have completed COVID-19 isolation.

As of 1:25 p.m. Friday, the Maine CDC's vaccination webpage reports 70,228 cumulative vaccinations have been performed in the state to date. Of those, 59,611 are first doses and 10,617 are second doses.

The Maine CDC is scheduled to provide a state coronavirus update at 2 p.m. Friday. NEWS CENTER Maine will stream it live on air, as well as on our website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and mobile app.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills gets first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

On the recommendation from the Maine CDC, Maine Gov. Janet Mills received her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Friday morning.

Mills falls into the Phase 1a category of the vaccine distribution plan, being a "person critical to Maine's COVID-19 response."

“I have the utmost confidence in the vaccine,” Mills said in a statement Friday. “It is safe. It is effective. And it will save lives."

The vaccine was administered at the Blaine House in August Friday morning by Dr. James Jarvis, physician leader for incident command at Northern Light Health. Jarvis is also the director of clinical education at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. 

Mills, who is 73, will receive the second and final dose of the vaccine in 28 days, the Governor's office said. 

"I want to thank Dr. Jarvis, and every medical provider across the state, who are working day and night to take care of Maine people and ensure that every dose of vaccine we get ends up in the arms of Maine people," Mills continued. "My Administration will continue to work hard in the coming days, weeks, and months to take whatever supply of vaccine we receive from the Federal government, turn it around quickly and efficiently, and make sure as many Maine people as possible are vaccinated.”



Friday Coronavirus Briefing

On Friday, the Maine CDC reported 16 additional death:

  • Two were residents from Androscoggin County
  • Five from Aroostook County
  • Two from Cumberland County 
  • Two from Hancock County
  • One from Oxford County
  • Two from Penobscot County
  • Two from Washington County

Shah says 13 of the people who died were women, and three were men. One of whom was someone in their 40s, another was someone in their 50s, two were in their 60s, two were in their 70s, and 10 were in their 80s or older. 

Friday marks the third straight day where there have been more than 800 reported cases. 

In the past 30 days, 255 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19. Shah says since Maine's very first case of COVID-19, one in five people who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 has been hospitalized in the past month. Just in the past 30 days, Maine has logged 20 percent of its hospitalizations. Currently, 193 people are hospitalized; 61 are in the ICU, and 24 are on a ventilator. 

The seven-day PCR test positivity rate is 5.09 percent, a decrease of almost a full percentage point from where it was about one week ago. Shah says that is in part due to the increase in testing volume, which now stands at 686 tests per 100,000 people. 

The seven-day antigen test positivity rate is 7.37 percent, with a testing volume of 184 tests per 100,000 people

Notable outbreak investigations

Update: Dexter Health Care–There are currently 39 cases of COVID-19. 

Since Thursday, the Maine CDC has opened two new notable outbreak investigations. One is an investigation at Klearview Manor in Fairfield, where there are four cases. 

Another is at Halldale Manor in Farmington, where there are 18 cases. 

Vaccinations

As of Friday morning, 70,228 vaccines have been administered across Maine. Of those, 10,617 are second doses. 

Soon after the first vaccines were authorized, the U.S. government and Operation Warp Speed decided to hold back in reserve the second doses of vaccines for the people who have received their first dose (of either Pfizer or Moderna). Earlier this week, Shah explains, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced that the U.S. government would stop holding those second doses in reserve, and rather push them out to states to help get more shots into arms. 

For the second doses, they would start relying on the newly-made vaccine, coming off the production line rather than the doses sitting on a shelf. This announcement to "release" the second doses was intended to help states turn up the dial on vaccination efforts. 

Even though Maine had already been in a relatively strong position compared to other states, Shah says they were positioned to increase their efforts even more. A few hours ago, Shah says they learned there were no second doses sitting on the shelf. Instead, the second doses that have been coming into Maine and other states for at least a week were already those that were coming off the production line as opposed to those that were coming off the shelf. 

Among other things, this means that the anticipated increase in doses that may have started coming into states from clearing out the shelves may not happen. 

Shah says they have just learned about this information and are working to find out more details about what this means and what the implications will be.

Among other things, it means that Maine may be continuing with the current supply constraints for the foreseeable future. 

The bottom line: It does not affect who may be vaccinated or where in the plan you may be vaccinated. But it may affect how quickly you may receive your vaccine. Again, Shah says they are working to find out additional information for what this means for states, specifically around the velocity with which they can vaccinate.

Shah says based on what he was told this morning, the second doses will continue to be delivered to states as they are produced. But again, they are not being taken off a shelf. 

Shah says they are trying to get further information about whether or not this change will affect how many doses Maine receives each week. 

"We have hoped that the announcement from U.S. HHS from Secretary Azar earlier this week, that second doses would start being released from the shelves, would in fact increase our allocation," Shah said. "Indeed, but based on what I was told this morning, that may or may not happen. And if it does, it may not happen as quickly as we had hoped."

"Right now, there are more questions than there are answers."

"As we learn more information from the current administration and the incoming administration, we will keep everyone updated based on what we know and specifically, how it affects you and where and when you may be able to get vaccinated," Shah said. 

Maine's week six vaccine allotment, however, has not changed. Shah says they had hoped for an increase.

RELATED: Maine CDC places order for sixth week of COVID-19 vaccines

Shah says the state has been working on finding vaccination sites across Maine that tick off the proper boxes (access, geographic location, ability to have spacing, etc.) and they've started identifying spaces that will be suitable. Shah says the news today from the federal government doesn't necessarily change their planning efforts and they're still moving full speed ahead. 

If and when Maine's vaccine supply increases, Shah says, the state wants to be ready to activate those sites as soon as possible to be able to offer that community-level vaccination. 

"We're concerned by today's news, disappointed–but we're not slowing down what we're doing on our end," Shah said. 

Shah says they thought there would be two specific IT tools from the government rolled out to states. One was a connection process so that all 50 states' vaccine registries could be connected to one another, so states could have insight into who had been vaccinated and kept track of. Shah says that hasn't materialized. 

Another thing Shah says they thought would be rolled out was a nationwide scheduling system–a platform where everyone in the country could go to learn where they could be vaccinated in their community and to register. That too has not materialized. As a result, Shah says, states have had to scramble to put up their own systems. Shah says they have started to investigate some possible platforms, and they are working to find an IT platform that meets all their needs. 

Credit: NCM



THURSDAY, JANUARY 14

The Maine CDC reported eight additional deaths of people with COVID-19. The state death toll stands at 461 deaths.

The Maine CDC reported 808 additional COVID-19 cases Thursday.

Of the 31,958 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 26,334 are confirmed by tests and 5,624 are probable. 

207 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine, with 64 being treated in intensive care units and 23 on ventilators.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13

The Maine CDC reported four additional deaths of people with COVID-19. The state death toll stands at 453 deaths.

Two of the deaths announced Wednesday were residents of Penobscot County and two of the deaths were residents of York County; three were women and one was a man; and one was in their 70s and three were in their 80s.

The Maine CDC reported 824 additional COVID-19 cases Wednesday, which is the most reported on a single day since the pandemic began.

Of the 31,150 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 25,708 are confirmed by tests and 5,442 are probable. 

1,201 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point during their COVID-19 illnesses. 207 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine, with 64 being treated in intensive care units and 23 on ventilators.

"Today (Wednesday) marks the high point of two concerning numbers," Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said. "The highest number of new daily cases, as well as the highest number of Maine people who are in the hospital. These come on a day when the nation recorded, at least yesterday, its highest number of deaths - more than 4,400 in a single day."

Shah reiterated that, even though vaccines are being administered to some high-risk groups, Mainers cannot let their guards down.

"The old fashioned classics - wearing a mask, physically distancing, and avoiding crowds - are just as relevant today as they were at the start of the pandemic," Shah said. "Simply put, those actions save lives."

11,809 Mainers have completed COVID-19 isolation.

Cumulatively, there have been 62,004 vaccine doses administered across the state. Of those, 52,511 are first doses. As of Wednesday morning, 8,493 Maine people have received both a first and second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Gov. Mills adjusts COVID-19 vaccine plan in line with federal recommendations

A day after the federal government recommended that states update their COVID-19 vaccine protocols, Gov. Janet Mills announced Wednesday that additional emergency personnel, those who support the state's COVID-19 infrastructure, and adults age 70 and older will be prioritized.

The announcement followed recommendations announced Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which recommended vaccinating people most vulnerable to COVID-19 as soon as possible.

Additional emergency first responders and public safety personnel, and critical COVID-19 response personnel are now included in Phase 1a of Maine's response plan, according to a release. Officials hope to complete Phase 1a by February.

Phase 1B, now slated to begin this month, now includes adults age 70 and older and those with high-risk medical conditions, according to the release. Information about how the vaccine will be available to those people will be available next week, Mills said.

“As we distribute the vaccine and adapt our strategy to meet Maine’s needs, my fundamental goal is to save lives. Maine is predominantly an older state, and we have a large number of people with high-risk medical conditions. These folks are exactly who face the greatest risks from the virus,” Mills said in the release. “Given they are at a greater risk of serious illness or death, it is appropriate to first target the limited supply of vaccine Maine receives to that population.”

“As our vaccination efforts expand to include more at-risk Maine people, velocity and equity continue to guide our planning,” Dr. Nirav D. Shah, Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said in the release. “As we await information from our federal partners on how quickly they can provide the vaccine needed for this next phase, we recommend that Maine people continue to wear face masks in public, stay at least 6 feet apart, and avoid non-essential gatherings with people who don’t live with them.”

MORE: Mills adjusts COVID-19 vaccine plan in line with federal recommendations

New Maine CDC outbreak investigations

  • Six cases at Maine Coast Senior Health 
  • Five cases at Coastal Shores Residential Care in Brunswick
  • 11 cases at the Consigli Construction site at Maine Molecular
  • Six cases at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth
  • Three cases at The Cedars in Portland
  • Three cases at Winterberry Heights Assisted Living & Memory Care in Bangor

More Wednesday Updates:



Credit: NCM



TUESDAY, JANUARY 12

The Maine CDC reported 11 additional deaths of people with COVID-19. The state death toll stands at 449 deaths. 

The 11 additional deaths reported today include:

  • One resident of Androscoggin County
  • Four residents of Cumberland County
  • One resident of Oxford County
  • Three residents of Penobscot County
  • One resident of Somerset County
  • One resident of York County

Four of the people who died were women, while seven were men. Four were between 50 and 59 years old, four were between 70 and 79 years old, and three were 80 or older. 

The Maine CDC reported 715 additional COVID-19 cases in the state.

Of the 30,326 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 25,163 are confirmed by tests and 5,163 are probable. 

1,189 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point during their COVID-19 illnesses. There are currently 203 people in the hospital, 68 of whom are in critical care, and 27 are on a ventilator. 

As of Tuesday, 58,083 people have been vaccinated: 

  • First doses: 51, 150
  • Second doses: 6,933

The Maine CDC's next state coronavirus update is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

Credit: NCM



SATURDAY, SUNDAY, MONDAY UPDATES

THE COVID-19 DATA



MAINE COVID-19 RESOURCES

NEWS CENTER Maine CORONAVIRUS STORY PLAYLIST



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